Together Against Racism - June 16, 2020

Dear School of Public Health alumni and friends,

The past two weeks have been an extremely challenging time for our community, state, and nation. The senseless and devastating deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Rayshard Brooks, and countless other Black individuals have once again highlighted the work we must do to combat systemic racism and its role in police violence and COVID-19's disproportionate impact on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities. We are in the midst of a public health crisis.

Recently, Professor Enrique Neblett appeared on our school podcast Population Healthy  to analyze systemic racism through the lens of coronavirus. Our voices in public health are critical to this movement. Denouncing racism and
affirming Black Lives Matter is something we all must do, but it is only the first step. All of us must commit to dismantling systemic racism. This not only includes our work in the field of public health, but also in the environments we all occupy everyday including our workplaces and communities. We must dedicate ourselves to this ongoing work, and its many forms, and remain steadfast over time. Our leadership, faculty, staff, postdocs, students, alumni and friends are committed to putting these values into action.

Throughout the past week, the U-M community has come together in sharing messages of outrage and hope. On June 5, a public town hall was held in an effort to provide a platform to discuss racism, the recent protests, and law enforcement through the lens of education and scholarship. Dr. Riana Anderson, assistant professor of health behavior and health education, participated in the panel. Many are seeking out information to help process what has been happening across the United States, as well as details about how we can all take part in the fight against racial injustice. As alumni and friends, you are part of the U-M community and we encourage you to review and utilize the anti-racism resources we have begun collecting on our website.

We recognize that we all have different experiences and may be looking for different types of information and ways to be involved right now. The ways in which each individual chooses to deepen their understanding and take action will be different. The most important aspect is that we are dismantling racism together. Many activities have started to take shape at the School of Public Health. Over the next few weeks, in partnership with members of our community, we will catalyze feedback and ideas to shape a more action-oriented path forward. It is important to emphasize that working together with a variety of voices and perspectives will take time. We are committed to the short and long-term actions necessary to combat systemic racism.

We are continuing to connect with our community and discuss how we can support racial justice. If you'd like to be part of future community conversations or if you have additional resources to share, please fill out this quick form. We look forward to our community coming together to take action.

Sincerely,

F. DuBois Bowman
Dean, School of Public Health

Nichole Burnside
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program Manager

Tony Wagener
Chief Development Officer

Anti-Racism Resources