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Our Statement of Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

We wholeheartedly support the Black Lives Matter movement and the protesters demanding institutional change.

Racism is systemic and multiform, ranging from blatant police brutality, the murder of our community members, and white supremacy to subtle forms of discrimination. Science and healthcare have historically exploited and downcast the needs of Black Americans. The scientific and medical community must do better to address these disparities. We must all be committed to not only opposing racism, but to also being actively anti-racist. This includes educating ourselves and one another on how we can work to eliminate injustice, oppression, and inequity. We must examine our own practices and do more to include people of color in science, medicine and research.

Here is a list of resources to help address racial inequalities, especially in healthcare. We focus on education, activism, and action (including volunteering and donation).

EDUCATE

Compared to White Americans, African Americans are:

  • 23 percent more likely to die from heart disease
  • Three to four times more likely to die during childbirth
  • Disproprtionately hospitalized and killed by COVID-19
  • Seriously underrepresented in clinical trials, and have been historically mistreated when participating in health research
  • 20% more likely to report psychological distress, but have limited access to mental and behavioral health resources
  • Be provided genetic predictions that are only 25% as accurate for their clinical care
  • TCF Report on Racism's Influence on Health Care Inequality

    ACTIVATE

    In order to ensure lasting change, we must translate our education into policy at a local and federal level.

    Socioeconomic status is one of the primary drivers of health outcomes and exacerbates healthcare disparities for African Americans. We support an investigation of solutions to address institutionalized wealth inequality by passing H.R. 40. This legislation would create a commission to study the historic effects of slavery and discrimination and recommend appropriate remedies. We cannot move forward as a nation without fully understanding and confronting the failures of our past.

    The following policies aim to address healthcare disparities:

  • Health Equity and Accountability Act is sweeping legislation that addresses a range of issues including data collection, equal access to care, key diseases, mental health, and workforce diversity in healthcare
  • The California Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act seeks to reduce the effects of implicit bias in pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal care
  • Increased minority inclusion requirements in clinical trials
  • Regulatory requirements for demonstrating efficacy and tolerable side effect profiles across diverse populations
  • We encourage you to educate yourself on these key pieces of legislation to improve the quality of life of African Americans. You can make your voice heard on these issues by voting AND contacting your local mayors, governors, and representatives.

    TAKE ACTION

  • Hire people of color - recruit from HBCU’s and minority serving institutions
  • Vote, volunteer, and donate
  • Improving STEM education has the potential to increase diversity in the healthcare workforce. Here are a few STEM organizations where you can volunteer your time:

  • Greene Scholars
  • SEM Link
  • iUrban Teen
  • MESA
  • Here are a few organizations that you can donate to:

  • Black Women's Health Imperative
  • National Black Disability Coalition
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Sister Song - Reproductive Justice