Dear members of our Faculty community,
We in the McGill Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences are committed to dismantle systemic racism and eradicate discrimination based on race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, disability or socioeconomic origins. We must do better. On September 30, McGill shared its Plan to Address Anti-Black Racism, which included critical input from members of the Faculty’s Black community. We thank you for your contributions. Over the coming weeks, we will build on the University’s plan, working closely with the Black community and broadly consulting with others to finalize the Faculty’s plan of action.
Following the horrific killing of George Floyd, the Faculty’s Social Accountability and Community Engagement (SACE) Office held community events and preliminary consultations to begin the Faculty’s planning process. SACE listened and heard from stakeholders on how we might better tackle systemic racism and microaggressions, enhance curricular content and increase the representation of Black students in the Faculty. This has been captured in a framework that will help inform our conversations going forward.
Examples of proposed actions in the framework include:
- Allyship and skills-building events to discuss the skills and tools that help us transition from simply standing with the community to taking purposeful action towards dismantling the structures of racism that foster oppression.
- The creation of a Black Caucus within the Faculty to stay connected and to explore opportunities for further engagement. Faculty members will have access to upcoming events and opportunities to contribute to SACE’s mandate and, in particular, to the action plan against anti-Black and systemic racism.
- Workshops for faculty members on systemic racism and microaggressions to increase awareness of this pervasive issue and work toward eliminating it.
- The creation of a Black Health lead job description to support the development and implementation of a coordinated long-term action plan for the Faculty to increase the number of Black students in all its health professions and graduate programs, based on identified needs and priorities in Black communities.
- New and revised curricula across all Faculty programs to recognize race and racism within health education, research and care.
- The creation of a Black Students’ Program stream to increase the representation of Black medical students in our Faculty.
The framework is a living document. It will evolve into our plan of action with continued input from Black and racialized members and student representatives of our Faculty community, as well as from external stakeholders. As mentioned in the message sent Monday, Oct. 5, on the tragic death of Joyce Echaquan, we will build on all efforts to accelerate our work addressing systemic anti-Indigenous racism and discrimination as well.
Upcoming consultations and input
The next consultations with members of the Faculty’s Black community will take place on October 22 and 27. Additional consultations within the Faculty and externally will follow, some of which are outlined in the framework.
Importantly, all members of the Faculty community are encouraged to share in confidence their thoughts and feedback about the framework and actions so far proposed via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or using this online form.
Thank you, once again, to all those who have been instrumental in shaping this preliminary document. Thank you, also, to everyone across the Faculty for your commitment and engagement to make the Faculty community welcoming and safe for all.
Vice-Principal (Health Affairs)
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine
and Health Sciences
Social Accountability and Community Engagement Office
October 15 2020