Statement on Black Lives Matter

Dear colleagues and UCLA community,

The faculty, residents and staff at the UCLA Division of Dermatology write to categorically condemn the ongoing killings of and disproportionate violence against Black Americans by law enforcement. We acknowledge that while the recent the conviction of George Floyd’s murderer represents an important step towards accountability, it is the bare minimum, and that true justice will not be served until Black Americans no longer have to live in fear. We call out the deeply embedded structures of white supremacy that led to these deaths and we stand in solidarity with protesters throughout the country who continue to demonstrate on behalf of Black Lives Matter.

We recognize that American medical institutions have played a significant role in perpetuating systemic racism and structural inequality and that the field of Dermatology in particular has done a poor job of representing and serving Black Americans. In our division, we declare our commitment to improving our clinics and our field to better care for Black Americans. To begin to move towards this goal, we are implementing multiple changes, including revamping of our recruitment process and didactic curriculum, unconscious bias training for residents and faculty, and outreach to students from populations under-represented in medicine.

In addition to these changes, we recognize the ongoing violence and recent verdict have a profound emotional impact on many of our patients as well as members of our Division. We strive to serve as allies and commit to continuing to educate ourselves to fill this role and better advocate for the sanctity and value of Black lives. We reference the recent powerful statements from President Barack Obama, the ACLU and Black Lives Matter for guidance on these steps:

Sincerely,
 
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee
UCLA Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine