When you fathom what ferocious force might radically wreck racism, does medicine come to mind? It does to some in St. Louis.
All Wash U Cardiovascular faculty, fellows, and staff are encouraged to attend and participate in Wednesday’s special Grand Rounds on findings of the Antiracism Task Force presented by @kejoynt!
@kejoynt!’s Twitter profile describes Karen Joynt Maddox as follows:
She/her. Black lives matter. Cardiologist @WUSTLmed, health policy researcher @WUSTLpubhealth @CHEP_IPH, feminist, wife, mom, sports nut.
Per the tweet, the Task Force would be reporting “findings from the needs assessment survey as well as a series of recommendations aimed at eliminating racism locally and more broadly, and at improving education and training, recruitment and retention, and community engagement through an antiracism lens.”
As for “antiracism,” UCLA Law Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw offered a definition to Good Housekeeping in 2020:
“Anti-racism is the active dismantling of systems, privileges, and everyday practices that reinforce and normalize the contemporary dimensions of white dominance. This, of course, also involves a critical understanding of the history of whiteness in America.”
Verywell Mind explains antiracism accordingly:
People often mistakenly believe that simply being “not racist” is enough to eliminate racial discrimination. The problem with this perspective is that White people are often unaware of their own unconscious biases. People often don’t fully understand the institutional and structural issues that uphold White supremacy and contribute to racist behaviors, attitudes, and policies.
Amid life-saving concerns, it seems an odd thing for a medical school to invest its time into curing the country of white racism. On the other hand, across countless institutions, it seems everyone is contemporarily taking a crack:
Back to Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Task Force, as noted by Campus Reform, “The findings and recommendations do not appear on the School of Medicine’s website, but a dedicated page for diversity, equity, and inclusion…lists other initiatives.”
- Raising awareness and understanding of the value of diversity, equity and inclusion in the campus community
- Developing and sharing strategies and educational methods to enhance inclusivity in our organizational culture
- Supporting efforts to attract and develop a diverse and talented student body and workforce
- Developing and improving the career development paths for underrepresented minorities working at the School of Medicine
So will medicine eradicate racism? It seems unlikely. Meanwhile, it would be nice if it could figure out how to solve more medical problems.
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