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Solidarity and Support During This Difficult Time

This message is from IHP President Paula Milone-Nuzzo's desk

 

June 8, 2020

June 5, 2020

June 1, 2020

 

-June 8, 2020-

Dear IHP Students, Alumni, Faculty, and Staff,

this graphic is an "ad" for tuesday, june 9 moment of rememberance

All members of the Institute community are invited to join in a moment of reflection in support of Black lives lost to violence. The event will be held Tuesday, June 9 at Noon. The event is one of several being held across the Mass General Brigham system in solidarity as we unite against racism. 

The Institute is committed to creating a welcoming and safe environment for all. We are committed to listening and understanding the stories of students, alumni, faculty, and staff who have experienced oppression and marginalization based on the color of their skin. We are also committed to taking action against racism, in our classrooms, on our campus, and in our community to create a more just and equitable society. 

We hope you are able to join us via Zoom. For anyone who is unable to attend, we will record this reflection and share.
 

Paula Milone-Nuzzo, PhD, RN, FHHC, FAAN
she/her/hers
President and John Hilton Knowles Professor

Kimberly Truong, PhD
she/her/hers/they/them/theirs
Executive Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

 

-June 5, 2020-

The past few weeks have been an extremely difficult time for the country, as we continue to deal with the pandemic and the pervasive and systemic racism that the brutal death of George Floyd painfully illustrates. It is a difficult time for all of us, especially for our Black faculty, staff, and students.

We have heard from many members of the community that they are feeling overwhelmed by all that is happening, making it difficult to do their daily work, or in some cases just get through the day. We encourage you to reach out and share your feelings with people who can provide support and validation for you. We also encourage everyone to be more flexible with one another during this difficult time. Outside resources such as the Student and Employee Assistance Program are also available to help.

In addition to offering support to members of the community, departments throughout the Institute as well as a number of student groups continue their vital, ongoing work to ensure the campus is a welcoming and nurturing place to learn and work.

  • This past Monday, more than 300 members of the IHP community participated in the sixth session of “Power, Privilege, and Positionality (PPP): What is the IHP’s Role in Health Care?” The event began two years ago when a group of students led the way in bringing about more conversation about race and racism at the Institute.
  • Today, June 5, a number of student groups, along with OSAS and the DEI Office, are organizing an Institute-wide Black Lives Matter Vigil. This vigil will take place Friday from 6:00–7:30 p.m. Organizers want to acknowledge those whose lives have been lost, allow time to grieve, and give space for those who would like to speak or share a tribute in honor of those deceased. If you would like to speak, share a poem, or offer a tribute during this time we invite you to fill out this form. Please register to attend.
  • Immediately following the vigil, from 7:45–8:45 p.m., Black students are invited to attend a follow-up forum, exploring what Black students need from the IHP. This event is led by Students for Racial Justice in Health Care (SRJH). RSVP. If you have any questions about the event, please email Alyssa Torchon.
  • This coming Tuesday, June 9, Mass General Brigham will be holding a system-wide Moment of Silence at Noon. This event brings together the system's more than 70,000 staff and students in a collective recognition of the pain and loss the country is experiencing right now. Details to follow in the IHP Daily News.
  • Later in June, Howard C. Stevenson, PhD, Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education at the University of Pennsylvania and our Fall 2020 Baugh Visiting Faculty Scholar, will engage the MGH Institute community in processing recent events related to racism, including a session for Black faculty, staff, and students. More information will be shared in the IHP Daily News once a date and time is confirmed.
  • On June 23, Anthony A. Jack, PhD, Spring 2020 Baugh Visiting Faculty Scholar, will discuss his research on the overlooked diversity among lower-income, first-generation undergraduates, from those who enter college out of local, typically distressed public high schools – the “doubly disadvantaged” – to those who do so from boarding, day, and preparatory high schools – the “privileged poor.” RSVP.
  • In the coming months, our DEI office, in collaboration with departments and offices, will accelerate the important work it has been doing to address issues of power, privilege, and positionality across the curriculum, building on the successful PPP event.

In addition, resources on race and racism are available on the Institute website.

During these difficult times, it is our hope that the Institute continues to be a source of support for you in a world that can sometimes feel overwhelming. Please continue to reach out to your colleagues, fellow students, as well as the two of us with your thoughts and concerns, or if you just need someone to listen.

Paula Milone-Nuzzo, PhD, RN, FHHC, FAAN
she/her/hers
President and John Hilton Knowles Professor

Kimberly Truong, PhD
she/her/hers/they/them/theirs
Executive Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

 

-June 1, 2020-

The police brutality against George Floyd is infuriating and haunting. The grief and anger George Floyd’s family and friends are experiencing is unimaginable; our collective sympathy goes out to his loved ones as they endure such a senseless and violent death of a loved one.

In the days since, protests and civil unrest have broken out in the streets of Boston and across America as people mourn this brutality and blatant racism against African Americans. The pain is visceral, and the emotions are raw. We have seen this scenario play out over and over again across this country. The past few weeks have been especially challenging to see how Black communities have been affected by racism. In addition to George Floyd, we have seen news stories about the deaths of Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Brianna Hill, and Rana Zoe Mungin.

Now more than ever, it is important that we engage in a national dialogue that honestly explores the imperative to change the systemic racism we see in so many communities. This afternoon, the Institute will be holding the sixth session of “Power, Privilege, and Positionality (PPP): What is the IHP’s Role in Health Care?” The event began two years ago, when a group of students led the way in bringing about more conversation about race and racism at the Institute.

Some of us may interpret these current events impacting Black people as isolated incidents between individuals. But, as our panelists at PPP have consistently reminded us, racism is complex and pervasive in our society. What we are seeing today is how Black communities are affected by the stereotypes that exist about them, which lead to life and death situations. PPP has helped us to better understand how these “isolated” experiences are actually quite interconnected within a system of oppression known as racism.

We see this orientation event as an important part of ongoing discussions about race and privilege at the Institute. As an organization with a mission of advancing care in a diverse society, we are increasingly infusing this topic throughout the curriculum so that the next generation of health care leaders can provide excellent care to all members of society. As the events of the past week have shown – not to mention the disproportionate toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on Black communities – these sustained discussions and explorations are imperative if we hope to create a more just and equitable society.

Paula Milone-Nuzzo, PhD, RN, FHHC, FAAN
she/her/hers
President and John Hilton Knowles Professor

Kimberly Truong, PhD
she/her/hers/they/them/theirs
Executive Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion