To all members of the Faculty of Medicine, including all learners,

The tragic killing in Minneapolis last week of George Floyd and the subsequent events across North America sound the alarm, yet again, to remind us that we have so much more to do to eliminate structural racism, inequity and discrimination. As health professionals and scientists, we have additional insight into how devastating these issues are to the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and entire populations. We have a critical role to play.

As a Faculty, we are committed to improving and continue learning. Our vision is healthy societies worldwide, applicable locally as much as globally. We are committed to removing impediments and to opening avenues and opportunities so all feel welcomed to pursue careers in the health sciences at McGill. Within our curricula, we are committed to raising consciousness and developing critical thinking into issues related to social inequities and discrimination across all of our Schools, so our graduates will be better prepared and more committed than previous generations.

Our Social Accountability and Community Engagement Office and our Indigenous Health Professions Program are working hard to remove barriers in student recruitment, so that young people of all backgrounds and orientations know they have their place in the health professions and sciences. We have implemented initiatives to improve diversity in academic recruitment, as well, by increasing awareness of unconscious biases in our processes. Our School of Population and Global Health is deeply committed to improving health outcomes for disadvantaged peoples here and around the world. There are initiatives led by dedicated groups and individuals across the Faculty who every day are passionately battling discrimination and inequity in each their own way.

But, we are reminded, this is not enough.

We know we all have a role to play: the University, Faculty, academics, staff and students. This was demonstrated in the many messages, statements and other inspirational, positive actions taken in response to the events of the last two weeks. Thank you for stepping up, leading by example and sustaining these efforts.

The tragic events in Minneapolis have reignited essential conversations about discrimination and inequity, specifically, anti-Black racism. We stand with, and offer support to, members of our Faculty community who identify as Black and who may feel especially vulnerable at this time.

We are committed to do more, to help level structural inequities and discrimination, based on race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, disability or socioeconomic origins.

We must do better.

Sincerely,

David Eidelman, MDCM

Vice-Principal (Health Affairs)

Dean of the Faculty of Medicine

 

 

June 5, 2020