Anti-racism

University of Utah Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Statement on Anti-Racism

We, the University of Utah Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, condemn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery at the hands of police brutality and vigilantism. Their names lengthen an already unconscionably long list of Black, brown and indigenous Americans lost to white supremacy and racism.

To our colleagues who identify as Black, indigenous, and people of color, our department sees you and supports you. We commit to making our department and the University of Utah a place of radical belonging, regardless of the color of your skin or how you identify. We are committed to challenging norms that marginalize or prevent Black and brown physicians and staff from advancing wholly in their careers. We commit to cultivating a culture that embraces, celebrates, and appreciates diversity and belonging throughout our department.

To the medical students, residents, fellows, and other trainees who identify as Black, indigenous, and people of color, our department sees you and supports you. We commit to making our department and the University of Utah a place where you can learn and thrive. We acknowledge this requires constant evaluation and correction of our own unconscious and conscious biases, and speaking out when we see bias perpetrated against you. We pledge to bring accountability to all levels of academia and the healthcare system.

To our patients who identify as Black, indigenous, and people of color, our department sees you and supports you. We commit to making University of Utah Health a place where you will receive unbiased care centered on excellence and respect. We acknowledge the impact that a history of racism and violence has had on you and your families’ health today, and pledge to hear your voices as we seek avenues to repair and dismantle the impacts of racism and violence. We are committed to adopting practices that improve outcomes and eliminate healthcare disparities. We recognize racism is a public health crisis, and we will treat it as the danger to your health that it is. 

To Black, indigenous and people of color across Utah and the nation, our department sees you and supports you. We recognize the history of our specialty and the intersections between past racism, current racism, and crises such as maternal mortality. However, we pledge to expand our specialty’s tradition of advocacy to actively include intentional anti-racism and anti-violence. We respect the work you are doing and commit ourselves as partners in the struggle for justice.

Our thoughts are with the families of those we have lost, including those whose names were not elevated to a national discourse. In their honor, we pledge to hear and amplify the voices of those who have been silenced, and to challenge the institutions and interactions that create racism and violence, acknowledging that we in medicine have been part of the problem. We commit to being part of the solution. We challenge our colleagues in ob/gyn and all medical professionals to join us in this commitment to anti-racism and anti-violence work.

//// Dr Robert M Silver, Chair

Statement crafted on behalf of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force, and undersigned by Michelle Debbink, Kathryn Fay, Kyl Myers, Sophie Janes, and Dave Turok.

Adapted with permission from Statement On Police Brutality and Commitment to Anti-Racism, Celeste Green, MD and Rodrigo Muñoz, MD, with support from the UNC Ob/Gyn Residency Program, issued May 30, 2020. This statement includes a list of resources on anti-racism.

We appreciate and express our support for the University of Utah’s statement, A compassionate, equitable, and just society for all, issued May 31, 2020.