This has been a time of reflection for many of us. Recent events, including the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, have prompted important, enriching discussions internally and on a wider scale surrounding discrimination and racial inequality. We are all considering measures that we can take as people and as a society to address longstanding legacies of discrimination and make the world a better place for all, especially in black and other minority communities.
SGU is a global community of all races, colors, creeds, religions, and nationalities, and this diversity is at the very foundation of our and our students’ success. Our students and graduates are taking these values with them to serve the health and welfare of our community members in need.
We are proud of our heritage as a strong champion for the non-traditional medical school student, and have team members around the world continuing to work to enhance the student experience in this regard.
As Chancellor Modica stated in his commencement address, diversity is in the University’s “core DNA,” and we continue that legacy by embracing individuals whose cultural backgrounds strengthen not only our school, but also the communities they serve around the world.
I want to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to be an ally for your peers. Here are some of the ways you can do that.
- Educate yourself. Learn about other people’s experiences so you can expand beyond the lens of your own experience.
- Be willing to listen, evolve your thinking, and stretch outside of your comfort zone. You may receive feedback or learn something that challenges your perspective. For example, you may get feedback that a well-intentioned action had a negative impact on the person you were trying to support. See the feedback as a chance to learn, not retreat.
- Lift up others. Use your influence to provide support and opportunities, and to encourage others to be allies.
I encourage you to read from the wealth of resources maintained by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, including its new portal, “Talking About Race.” There is also a wide range of material online addressing the subject of race that I have found to be enlightening.
What to watch
What to read
What to listen to
I greatly appreciate the sense of community and collaboration that you have helped build at SGU. You have worked together, leaned on each other, and it has not gone unnoticed by our students and the wider St. George’s University family.
We should view this as an opportunity to listen and to learn in order to become better colleagues, friends, and people. As an organization, we welcome all perspectives and know we can use them to grow. By educating ourselves further on the everyday challenges that minority populations face, we truly can—and will—make strides toward eliminating racial injustice. I trust you all will join me in this quest for continuous learning and understanding.
Richard Liebowitz, MD
St. George’s University