Today, Thursday, May 25, marks the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. 

As we reflect on his murder three years ago, we also remember the words of George Floyd's daughter, Gianna, who said after her father's death, "Daddy changed the world." Let us continue to create change in a world where everyone has an equitable environment to work, conduct research, learn, train, and receive care with dignity.

The University’s message reminds us that sustained change takes time, commitment, and effort. This event sparked a call to action three years ago, and since then our Department has taken the following actions to work towards fostering a culture that better supports diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplace and communities:

  • Established a DEI council with subcommittees to support our journey in creating a culture of inclusion
  • Fostered a partnership with Tuskegee University where undergraduates interested in medicine are immersed in an on-campus eight-week program focused on preparing them for successful application to medical school while attracting them to the Twin Cities
  • Funded research focused on diverse populations so we can deliver equitable healthcare outcomes for all our patients, regardless of their status or background.
  • Created learning circles invested in DEI topics to continue the conversation and share resources for further learning to ensure our faculty, staff, and trainees have the education and training to identify, report, and reject intolerance and discrimination in our workplace.

We acknowledge that we have more to work toward and remain dedicated to understanding the history, structure, and environments within our systems and communities to provide exceptional care to the populations we serve. With the retirement of Dr. Rothenberger, our goal for FY24 is to name and support a new faculty leader to continue the work that we have just begun. 

Please visit our DoS Diversity, Equity & Inclusion webpage for more information and support to advance and thrive within our institution.

As always, it is an honor to serve you.


Sayeed Ikramuddin, MD, MHA
Chair, Department of Surgery
Jay Phillips Professor