A message to the UMMC Community on Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Dear UMMC Family and Friends:
Hate, discrimination, and fear will not win. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders have been blamed, insulted, targeted, and attacked. The rise of aggression and violence toward these groups is unjustified. Sadly, acts of hatred have now led to the horrific murders in Atlanta of eight individuals with the majority of the victims being women from Asian descent. Uncivil actions rooted in xenophobia, bigotry, misogyny, and ignorance continue to plague our society. As a community of learners, scholars, and caregivers – we must not become accustomed to this level of violence toward any group and should do our part of promoting community and a sense of belonging in all that we do. As an institution, we must remain committed to our purpose while respecting our differences and recognizing that it is our diversity that strengthens us. In Dr. Woodward’s most recent VC Notes (March 26, 2021), she reminds us that "We should respect everyone, despite our differences, and especially go out of our way to show kindness to those who may have historically been singled out by some for ill intent."
Shortly after the incident in Atlanta, we learned of the senseless killings in Boulder – another example of unwarranted violence. Both horrors are discussed in the recent article in AAMCNews titled "Healing a toxic brew of hate, racism, and gun violence in America" co-authored by David J. Skorton, MD, president and chief executive officer, and Davis A. Acosta, MD, chief diversity and inclusion officer, of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The article highlights important actions toward understanding, healing, and responsiveness.
In a perfect world, messages like this would not be needed. Unfortunately, we have a lot more work to do.
Juanyce D. Taylor, PhDChief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
Today, on what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King's 92nd birthday, be inspired by his famous quote:
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."
(Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963)
Let us all commit to rededicating ourselves to what is just and fair by speaking out against racism, discrimination, and prejudice.
Monday, January 18, 2021 marks the 35th anniversary of the federal holiday in honor of Dr. King's birthday.
A message to the UMMC Community on Wednesday, June 3, 2020
No amount of words can describe what is happening around the country. Over, and over, and over again – it is the same story. Just a different place and time. Will it ever end? The significance of the March on Washington in 1963 was a bold cry for justice. Here we are in 2020, still demanding an end to injustice. The unwarranted killings of Breona Taylor, Ahmad Arbery, and George Floyd has provoked so many undesirable emotions. Sadly, this is not the first time many of us have felt this way and we will forever speak their names. Then, I continue to think about what may have happened to Chris Cooper, an avid birdwatcher, if he had not recorded his experience. Racism is a terrible disease and these incidents is evidence that we still have a long way to go.
Dr. Woodward reminds us that diversity and inclusion remains a core value at this institution. We must continue to work together by demonstrating civility, compassion, and empathy for one another.
Please know that your Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) is always available to you. Below are several racial equity resources to help you on your journey towards healing, advocacy, and promoting a culture of respect in your own spaces. Consider using these tools as an opportunity for learning, practicing mindfulness, and engaging with your colleagues, students, and community. In closing, ODI extends it services by:
Juanyce D. Taylor, Ph.D.Chief Diversity & Inclusion OfficerAssociate Professor, Doctor of Health Administration ProgramOffice of Diversity & Inclusion