(This message was sent to all students, faculty and staff on Sunday, May 31):
To our College of Medicine family (faculty, staff and students),
We are deeply saddened by the killing of George Floyd and the many other African Americans who have been murdered and suffered because of careless disregard for human life through acts of racism, violence, and hatred. We’re not sure how many of you saw the message from President Thrasher on Facebook and Twitter on Friday (I’ve posted it below). We certainly concur with the sentiments describing the heartbreaking and senseless death of George Floyd and have seen the anger, protests, and people standing together in love in response across the country, as well as in our own communities.
Embracing and celebrating diversity and providing a welcoming and respectful environment for faculty, staff, and students are central to the mission and values of our COM. As we welcomed the Class of 2024 on Thursday, Dr. Kema Gadson and M2 student Gabrielle B (GB) Yap Sam led an amazing interactive session on diversity with multiple responses from the class on how we can best get to know each other, respect each other, and understand how we are different without judgment. It made all of us proud to see how engaged the class was and how open they were to sharing their feelings on this critical topic and their commitment to treat each other with dignity and respect. Once again, the Class of 2024 is representative of the diversity that we celebrate here as we were created to serve the rural and underrepresented populations in Florida.
For the new M2’s, we recently had a week-long module on understanding the detrimental impact of Covid-19 on the African American community in the face of racism. Students and faculty heard from community members about the adverse impact of structural inequities like poverty, lack of insurance, food insecurity and lack of transportation on minority communities. We are committed to making sure all of us understand the impacts of racism on the health of minority populations and how it has influenced economic, cultural and social circumstances in this country. Further, our commitment goes beyond understanding to being actively anti-racism. Our Wellness Committee and Council on Diversity and Inclusion are broadly represented by faculty, staff, and students. We hope everyone can come together as the special family that we are.
Please know that we are here for you and want to hear from you. Our Student Affairs staff, Diversity Office, Counseling Staff, Wellness Committee, Advisors and Chairs all deeply care about you. Let’s find a way to see the stars in this darkness, see our common humanity, and work together for a better tomorrow.
Be well and be safe.
FSU COM Leadership (Deans, Chairs, Administrators)
President John Thrasher's message is also available at https://news.fsu.edu/news/university-news/2020/05/29/a-message-from-president-john-thrasher-2/.