Dear Students and Colleagues: As our country struggles with the chronic ills of racism, with people coming together across our nation to demand
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Dear Students and Colleagues:

As our country struggles with the chronic ills of racism, with people coming together across our nation to demand action around an issue that has systematically been swept under the rug for decades, action is needed in a critical and urgent manner. We are committed to working with members of our College to make the needed changes.

We remember the charge shared by University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen and Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs Barb Wilson: “Let us make this outrageous act of aggression a pivotal point in history that begins to reverse generations of systemic racism and discrimination. Let it start here and let it start now.”

As, part of our initial call to action, the University of Illinois College of Medicine has established the Anti-Racism Urgent Action Committee.

The committee’s charge is to use the next two to three months to establish an immediate action plan for mitigating the impacts of racism and/or reducing systemic inequities facing people of color by focusing on two types of urgent actions:

  • Immediate changes in policies, processes, or training that will ensure short-term change
  • Immediate change to college-wide goals and metrics that will enable necessary medium and long-term change

Since we are self-imposing a very tight timeline, the committee will conduct its first meeting on Monday, June 29. Gloria Elam, Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, will serve as chair. The committee will include a diverse membership of students, staff, and faculty across all campuses and will utilize campus and focus-area-specific subcommittees. Each campus will have a committee working in conjunction with the college committee to effect these changes at each site. Across the campuses and at all member levels we will institute an Anti-Racism Curriculum and Development course for students, residents/fellows, faculty, and staff. We will commit to a full review and revision of the current curriculum to erase biases and provide culturally appropriate education to prepare learners, faculty and staff to care for those in marginalized communities.

The initial focus areas are:

  1. Medical School Curriculum
  2. Student Learning Environment
  3. Resident Recruitment and Concerns
  4. Student/Faculty /Staff Recruitment & Retention
  5. Faculty/Staff Development
  6. Faculty/Staff Environment
  7. External Impact

We have already heard loudly from some of our students and faculty about their concerns regarding racism and diversity here within the College. We greatly value this input and the discussions that have evolved. We want to continue this collaborative effort and ensure all members of the broader UI COM community are part of the discussion. This committee will ensure that these discussions continue, that everyone in the College will be able to be heard, and that positive actions will take place as a result.

We look forward to sharing more with you in the coming days and weeks.

Regards,
Mark I. Rosenblatt, MD, PhD, MBA, MHA
Executive Dean

Gloria Elam MD, MPH, FACOG
Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion