Commitments and Acknowledgements

Diversity Statement

Medical School Diversity Statement

The University of Minnesota Medical School is committed to excellence. Our mission will only be achieved through embracing and nurturing an environment of diversity, inclusiveness, equal opportunity, and respect for the similarities and differences in our community.

We strive to create an atmosphere where differences are valued and celebrated, knowing institutional diversity fuels the advancement of knowledge, promotes improved patient care and fosters excellence. We will train a culturally aware workforce qualified to meet the needs of the diverse populations we serve. We especially strive to have our community better reflect the broad range of identities in our state, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, national origin, religious practice, and socioeconomic status.

Given the dynamic nature of our community, the Medical School Diversity Statement and Policy should be reviewed biennially to ensure it is current and reflective of our priorities.

Land Acknowledgements

INTERIM UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA TWIN CITIES LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We acknowledge that the University of Minnesota Twin Cities is built within the traditional homelands of the Dakota people. It is important to acknowledge the peoples on whose land we live, learn, and work as we seek to improve and strengthen our relations with our tribal nations. We also acknowledge that words are not enough. We must ensure that our institution provides support, resources, and programs that increase access to all aspects of higher education for our American Indian students, staff, faculty, and community members.

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA DULUTH LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We acknowledge that the University of Minnesota Duluth is located on the traditional, ancestral, and contemporary lands of Indigenous people. The University resides on land that was cared for and called home by the Ojibwe people, before them the Dakota and Northern Cheyenne people, and other Native peoples from time immemorial. Ceded by the Ojibwe in an 1854 treaty, this land holds great historical, spiritual, and personal significance for its original stewards, the Native nations and peoples of this region. We recognize and continually support and advocate for the sovereignty of the Native nations in this territory and beyond. By offering this land acknowledgment, we affirm tribal sovereignty and will work to hold the University of Minnesota Duluth accountable to American Indian peoples and nations.

george floyd

Statement on the Death of George Floyd

The University of Minnesota Medical School community mourns the death of George Floyd. We are outraged by the brutal manner of his death and the role racism played in the callous disregard for his life. People from across our state and around the world have risen in protest and asked to be heard. We share their pain and add our voices to condemn racial profiling, police brutality, and injustice.

We acknowledge that the state of Minnesota has vast disparities in health, economic status, and educational outcome, largely due to the social construct known as “race,” and the perpetuation of structural racism.

We pledge to educate ourselves, examine our personal biases, and expose where structural racism pervades our institution.

We commit to change. We commit to maintaining our momentum long after the protests have stilled. We commit to transforming our grief and anger to action.

The first actions we will take are these:

  • Listen to our patients and advocate for them both in and out of the clinic. We listen because we do not have all the answers. We advocate because we have power.
  • Use a collaborative approach to eliminating racism that respects the expertise of students, faculty, staff, and diverse community partners. Time spent on these efforts will be administratively supported, compensated, and recognized.
  • Educate ourselves by ensuring all students, residents/fellows, faculty, and staff receive training on racism, implicit bias, and microaggression so that they understand the expectations of treating others with respect, interacting effectively with people from diverse backgrounds, and serving everyone in our community with humanity and cultural humility.
  • Focus additional recruitment efforts in communities that are underrepresented in medicine (URM). We must provide prospective students with tangible evidence that URM students are not only “welcome here,” but that they also succeed here.
  • Collaborate with the new Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to build programs that recruit and retain faculty of diverse backgrounds and to create a more inclusive academic community.
  • Accelerate developing new curriculum for our medical students that comprehensively integrates the topic of health equity and how structural racism and accompanying socioeconomic factors are central barriers to it.
  • Evaluate our use of the concept of “race” in research, education, and health care.
  • Perform research and develop policy that can be used to support legislation that acknowledges and works to eliminate the direct impact of racism on the health and well-being of our communities.

We commit to absolute systemic change that will prevent more senseless deaths, reduce racial gaps in healthcare outcomes, ensure that all students are educated equally, and create a better Medical School, University, state, and world for us all.