STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF NEUROLOGY
The Department of Neurology unreservedly condemns the killing of Mr. George Floyd and all racial violence. We stand with our Black, Indigenous, and LatinX communities, including our patients, medical students, residents, colleagues and friends, in this moment of grief. While we cannot bring Mr. Floyd back, we can honor his unjust death as a catalyst for change.
Our Department is composed of individuals representing a diversity of backgrounds, specialties, interests, cultures, and opinions, but we are united in support of the University of Minnesota’s transformative actions to combat racism and usher in policy changes that will bring justice and further equality and inclusion. Racism has produced long-standing health disparities and inequalities for Black, Indigenous and People of Color. This is painfully illustrated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the disproportionate impact on Black, Indigenous, and LatinX communities. We are committed to systemic change addressing these persistent health disparities in order to avoid further social disruption and to transform our health care delivery system into one that is equitable to all members of our community. To do this, we will listen to, and proactively seek out, Black, Indigenous and People of Color’s voices in order to break down existing walls of silence that have perpetuated these inequalities.
As an immediate next step, the Department is forming a Diversity Committee to identify concrete action steps for FY2021 that will improve diversity, equity and inclusion in our tripartite mission of Clinical Care, Research and Teaching. A working group led by Dr. Miguel Fiol, our Diversity Officer, will produce a Committee charter by August 6, 2020.
In addition, we will continue to partner with our Dean’s ongoing initiatives as well as other Medical School and University governance bodies actions. We welcome the imminent arrival of our inaugural Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and look forward to being partners for change .We approve and support the Senate's recommendation to create a University task force of students, faculty and staff to address concerns regarding how racism affects on-campus security and policing.
We echo President Gabel’s call: " So I ask you to commit to kindness. Commit to justice. Commit to community. We share our lives with those around us and we are enriched, immeasurably, by the relationships we form, the experiences we have, and the justice we can create". Our faculty and staff are committed to increasing investment in providing excellent and comprehensive care to all individuals and to support University, Medical School, and Departmental programs focused on building a community of belonging. We give you our wholehearted commitment to stand in solidarity with our University and Medical School leadership to work towards creating a more just society and healthcare system for all.