UNMC chapter of White Coats for Black Lives meets Monday

September 25, 2020

Image with caption: Members of the UNMC community took part in a national White Coats for Black Lives event in June. UNMC now has its own chapter of the organization, which is holding its first meeting Monday.

Members of the UNMC community took part in a national White Coats for Black Lives event in June. UNMC now has its own chapter of the organization, which is holding its first meeting Monday.

The first meeting of a new UNMC chapter of White Coats for Black Lives (WC4BL) will be held on Monday, Sept. 28, at noon via Zoom.

"All students, residents and staff of UNMC and Nebraska Medicine are welcome to attend the virtual meeting and learn more about WC4BL," said Helen Grace, MD, assistant professor in the UNMC Department of Pediatrics and an organizer of the event.

"WC4BL is a new group on campus, and our mission is to dismantle racism in medicine and promote the health, well-being and self-determination of people of color," said Yasmeen Bora, a medical student and president of the UNMC chapter.

Goals for the national organization include:

  • Foster dialogue on racism as a public health concern.
  • Encourage physicians, physician organizations and medical institutions to publicly recognize racism as a public health issue.
  • Promote medical students' involvement in local and national movements to end racism and police brutality.
  • Advocate for the funding and promotion of research on the health effects of racism.

"In 2020, it still seems like Black lives do not matter," said Sheritta Strong, MD, UNMC's director of inclusion. "There are more and more conversations about structural racism and how it affects our faculty, staff, students and the communities that we serve. The Office of Inclusion and the Office of Equity support this important initiative that will help us address racial inequities in our Black, Indigenous and people of color on campus. This is important 'service' work to the university.

"There are chapters forming nationwide, and I am encouraged that Dr. Grace is leading this charge," Dr. Strong said. "We invite you to consider joining this and/or the other activities on campus to be a part of the solution."

Monday's meeting will include introducing the WC4BL board, watching a short TEDTalk on "The Problem with Race-Based Medicine," and having open dialogue afterwards.

"We are excited to come together to create better health care for all patients," Bora said.

To attend the meeting, contact Dr. Grace via email for the Zoom meeting details.

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Dr. Sheritta Strong
September 27, 2020 at 9:39 PM

I am looking forward to the meeting Yasmeen and Dr. Grace! :)

Yasmeen Bora
September 27, 2020 at 5:12 PM

Hi Shan, thank you for your interest. We have decided against recording the meeting so people will feel more comfortable in the discussion, but we hope we can see you at a future meeting! The TED talk we'll be watching together can be accessed on YouTube and the TED website if you'd like to see it.

shan tinnell
September 25, 2020 at 9:42 AM

I have class at noon... will this meeting be recorded, for later viewings?