Dear ASCI Members,
In the past several weeks, issues of systemic racism and inequality have been brought into sharp focus. While much of the discussion has centered on police violence against African Americans and other people of color, these events do not occur in a vacuum. Rather, they occur in a continuum of politics, policies, and practices that have served to suppress whole categories of people. The mission of the ASCI is to support the scientific efforts, educational needs, and clinical aspirations of physician-scientists to improve the health of all people. Racial injustice and discrimination in any form undermine this mission by negatively impacting safety, freedom, health equity, and opportunity for our patients, trainees, colleagues, and members.
In recognition of the central importance of equality, diversity, inclusion, and equity to our mission, we have made the following immediate and specific plans:
- Establish a permanent Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Committee through proposed amendment of the ASCI bylaws.
- Charge the ASCI Council and its Executive Committee to support the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Committee with the following:
- Ensure that all ASCI programs emphasize diversity, inclusion, and equity
- Establish a mentoring network for physician-scientists that is focused on opportunities for underrepresented minorities
- Consider how the ASCI can better recognize and promote research into health equity
As we undertake these steps, we recognize that we do not have all of the answers. We are committed to making progress to address these challenging issues within our own community, and we welcome comments, ideas, and volunteers who would like to contribute to these efforts. If you are interested, please email me (Lorraine.firstname.lastname@example.org) or Executive Director John Hawley (email@example.com).
Lorraine B. Ware, MD
2020-2021 President, ASCI
On behalf of:
The ASCI Working Group on Diversity and Inclusion
The ASCI Council