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Black Lives Matter Movement

In order to dismantle structural inequalities, it is important to first understand the constructs of race versus racism. Race is a social construct based on physical and behavioral commonalities within a group of individuals. Racism is a system based on race but disadvantages a certain racial group(s). The Black Lives Matter movement addresses systemic racism affecting Black communities globally. The Black community has suffered from social inequalities, systemic and institutional racism, mass incarceration, and many other injustices dating back a few centuries. These injustices have led to the unlawful death of individuals; violating basic human rights that every individual is entitled to.

This statement has three goals:

  • Raise awareness of racial disparities in the Black community.
  • Convey solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • Call to action in the form of cultural competency training(s), revised curriculum, and community-engaged advocacy; at a professional medical institution.

At the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine (Scholl College), we stand unified with one voice, Black Lives Matter. As an institution that serves to educate future podiatric physicians, we do not condone racism or acts of social injustice. There is a moral and ethical obligation for all healthcare providers and students to serve in the best interest of their current and future patients. To best serve their patients, they must engage in self-awareness practices to limit implicit bias. For a physician to provide the most objective treatment, opinions of race, socioeconomic background, ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual orientation must be removed. By limiting implicit bias, there will be improved patient outcomes, access to higher-quality treatment, and an avenue for physicians to better educate their patients. Highlighting the significance of racial awareness in a professional medical institution as a sector of the social determinants of health is a stepping stone toward health equity. In order to address this issue fully, Scholl College has started the following initiatives and will monitor these on a regular basis for efficacy:

  • Modification of the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan to emphasize diversity and inclusion.
  • Creation of a Task Force on Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion that will make recommendations for curricular enhancements about disparities in health care.
  • Continuation of facilitated dialogue where students, faculty, and staff all can have a safe space to discuss and educate each other on topics such as race, cultural awareness practices, and ethnicity.
  • Collaboration with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.
  • Further development of the culture of Scholl College to ensure a diverse and inclusive environment.