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Actions Speak Louder

We are calling all members of the UNC School of Medicine (SOM) to action. We must be intentional about enacting change and releasing the burden on our Black students, faculty, and staff. As a collective, we have listed the next steps our organization will be taking as well as initiatives we want see from SOM administration.

The American Public Health Association (APHA) has declared “Racism as a Public Health Crisis”

All are welcome. We invite you to say their names and learn their stories. Equity is about justice, fairness and opportunity for all.

Actions Taken by SNMA

  • SNMA, LMSA, MSPA have matched individuals’ donations to a total of $500 donated to BLM, racial justice organizations, mutual aid funds, Black businesses and bailout funds across North Carolina. We encourage everyone to sign the petitions and donate to the organizations linked below.
  • Medical students trained and served as EMTs to assist medics at protests. Students also collected donated supplies (masks, water, hand sanitizer, milk of magnesia, etc.)
  • SNMA hosted a summer reading club on Allyship from the National SNMA suggested reading list.
  • SNMA has created an activism safety guide as a resource for those who protested.

Actions Requested of the School of Medicine

  • Implementation of anti-racist longitudinal education within our pre-clinical and clinical education, not just in the Social Health Science Curriculum.
    Status: Addressed and ongoing
  • Provisional – by UNC SOM Administration, for Black students – of mental health resources and access to Black mental health providers, as well as administrative-excused absences for clinical and preclinical students who need time to grieve.
    Status: Addressed and ongoing
  • Institution – by UNC SOM Administration – of MANDATORY longitudinal racial bias training for all clinical preclinical instructors, faculty, and staff (including those at branch campuses).
    Status: Addressed and ongoing
  • Creation – by UNC SOM – of a faculty-led coalition of administrators, faculty, and staff who support students in dismantling systemic racism within the SOM.
    Status: Addressed and ongoing
  • Recognition of the School of Medicine’s history of slavery and discrimination.
    Status: Ongoing and addressing with the Office of Medical Education
  • Creation and dedication of a memorial to commemorate Black lives in the new medical education building.
    Status: Addressed and ongoing
  • Creation of a scholarship fund for Black students to increase diversity within the student body.
    Status: Addressed and ongoing
  • Adoption – by UNC Hospitals – of VotER (a non-partisan, non-profit organization that places voter registration QR codes on hospital badges_ and promotion of local voting initiatives.
    Status: This was restructured

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White Coats for Black Lives Requests

Although racial segregation of medical care is illegal, most health systems effectively segregate patient care through triage decision-making, discrimination based on insurance status, and use of trainees to care for marginalized patients. This means UNC Healthcare will address:

  • Publicly release data on the racial demographics, primary language, and insurance status of patients seen in each hospital practice and hospital within a health system.
  • Publicly release data on the demographics of patients seen by providers of different training levels within the health system (residents, NPs, PAs, fellows, attendings).
  • Develop a clear action plan to address inequities in access to comprehensive care by fully-trained providers.

Status: Dr. Crystal Cené is providing leadership for UNC Health, Health Equity. Some areas may or may not be addressed.


Upcoming Events

The MLK Lecture and Awards Ceremony

Tuesday, January 26
Virtual
6 p.m.
FREE
The keynote speaker will be Patrisse Cullors, social activist, best-selling author of When They Call You A Terrorist and co-creator of the viral Twitter hashtag and movement, #BlackLivesMatter.
Registration Opens January 5.


Annual Minority Health Conference is Body & Soul: The Past, Present, and Future of Health Activism

February 26, 2021
The Minority Health Conference, which is the largest and longest-running student-led health conference in the country, aims to raise awareness around minority health and mobilize students, academics and community members to take action for change. The conference was founded and is led by students at The Gillings School of Global Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill. We are excited to announce that this year’s theme is Body & Soul: The Past, Present, and Future of Health Activism.

This year’s conference seeks to critically examine the structural barriers that reinforce inequities and exclude the experiences of marginalized voices in the policy process. Body and Soul empowers people to find their voice in the activism space. It encourages people to use their gifts and skills to advocate for and create change for those in the margins. We look forward to seeing you in a virtual space at the 2021 conference on Friday, February 26th.


Race, Racism, and Racial Equity (R3) Symposium

TBA
The inaugural Race, Racism, and Racial Equity (R3) Symposium, hosted by the University Office for Diversity and Inclusion, is a series of virtual events that will bring together scholars and researchers from across campus to share their work with Carolina and the broader community.

Previous R3 Symposiums

Join Us. Demand Justice

  • Actions Speak Louder

    Racism is a public health crisis affecting BIPOC at the physiological, psychological, and molecular levels. I seek to work within medical institutions to ensure the field as a whole not only ceases to be complicit in perpetuating these inequalities but actively works to end them.

    – Taylor Henderson, 2023

  • Mitchell Williams

    My time at the UNC SOM has really shaped how I view social justice in the context of my patients and community that I will serve. As a future physician, my role will be shaped not only by the medical care that I give my patients but also being an advocate for social justice in underrepresented communities. I am pleased to see the diversity and inclusion of underrepresented students but the work doesn’t stop there. We must continue to fight for our communities to ensure that they have a voice and an appropriate opportunity to make positive change in our society.

    – Mitchell Williams, 2024

  • Actions Speak Louder 2

    My drive for social justice is deeply rooted in my experiences growing up in Charlotte, NC- a city that ranked last in the country for generational mobility. I believe that everyone should have the right to pursue their dreams regardless of background and socioeconomic status.

    – Kedeja Adams, 2021

  • Dillon Strepay

    While we have advanced our knowledge of medicine forward, we continue to see health care disparities across racial and socioeconomic lines. The pandemic has highlighted these injustices and we must work towards better healthcare for all.

    – Dillon Strepay, 2023

  • Victoria Person

    Social justice is important to me because I believe that is my responsibility to speak up for those who may not be able to advocate for themselves. I think it is especially important to advocate for better socially conscious education.

    – Victoria Person, 2023

  • Ben Kaplan 1

    Anti-racism is a matter of life and death, and belongs at the center of our medical curriculum. As we learn about diseases like COVID-19, hypertension, and CKD, we must consider the systems of oppression that enable these diseases to disproportionately injure and kill BIPOC.

    – Ben Kaplan, MPH