Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Black Lives Matter street mural in North Minneapolis

Black Lives Matter street mural on Plymouth Ave. in north Minneapolis. Photo credit: Unicorn Riot

Department Statement on Antiracism

The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health mourns the unconscionable and senseless death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. We believe that Black Lives Matter. We stand against racism in all its forms. We acknowledge that racism is a public health crisis.

Black, Indigenous, and people of color in Minnesota and elsewhere have been systematically marginalized and oppressed, and these communities have experienced over-policing, violence, structural and interpersonal racism, and disinvestment for years. Mr. George Floyd's horrific death during an arrest despite asking for help repeatedly and the related delay in formal charges in late May of 2020 resulted in an expression of anger, fear, and pain that erupted and changed Minneapolis and all of our lives. Two of our residency clinics were physically damaged, and in North Minneapolis, patients were temporarily left without their primary care home.

The pain, anger, and grief that we collectively and individually experienced must spur us to transformative action. This is a critical time in our society and we cannot be complacent and thus complicit in ongoing structural racism around us.

As a Department, we are intentionally, and imperfectly, working toward equity, inclusion, and justice. We will hold space for righteous anger and visionary passion while crafting a future that is honest about our contributions to oppression and racism and working with humility on a way forward.

We are committed to continuing the necessary and challenging work of antiracism in our clinical care, our educational programs, our eight residency programs and our rotations in the University of Minnesota Medical School, and our departmental structures and policies and environment that impact faculty and staff. We must recognize our complicity and identify the architecture of systemic racism and oppression that currently exists. As we enact new systems, many of the old systems must be repaired or completely dismantled, and we will not shy away from this essential work.

We encourage everyone, particularly those of us who are racialized as white, to educate themselves without placing the burden on colleagues/friends of color. As a Department, we will provide opportunities and resources to learn and grow individually and together, and we are cultivating an ecosystem of growth and learning that will allow courageous self-reflection and vulnerability to thrive. We will create a space for open dialogue and ongoing work in this field.

As a Department, we are going to live our values with opportunities to face this work head-on together. We have a responsibility to activate change and create a world that is safe and healthy for everyone.