As members of the healthcare system, there has never been a more pressing need for us to unite

Monday, June 1, 2020

We are witnessing, in anguish, multiple acts of unjustifiable brutality and violence borne of systemic racism. The inhumane murder of George Floyd this past week, a clearly handcuffed and defenseless Black man, has sparked waves of outrage across the United States. This follows the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many other African Americans in this country over too many years. 

First, we address our members, especially our Black members: words do not or will not change the past or present, but we support you by listening, learning, and speaking out to impact our future. EAST is here for you. 

As members of the healthcare system, there has never been a more pressing need for us to unite against the structural violence and structural racism which cause the preventable injury and premature death. Beyond our scalpels, as surgeons, health policy and injury prevention is part of our world. As an organization, EAST has operated under, and avowed values of equity and inclusion, regardless of race, background or gender, #EAST4ALL. Therefore, it is our duty to uphold those core values in order to honor the victims and to demand the human rights of which they have been inexcusably deprived. Health advocacy is key in order to mobilize public support and enact the structural change that our Black communities deserve. 

We must act when members of our own trauma communities are in pain. The suffering and fears of our Black colleagues, friends and family members are the suffering and fears of us all. We see you. We hear you. Most importantly, we feel you. This shall not, and will not stand. 

EAST was built on its members and stands ready to support each other through this difficult time.  We are entering a new era of confronting the systemic effects of racism and structural violence and their impact on health. Structural racism is clearly the most urgent public health priority of our time. Our organization commits to being at the forefront of change and improvement for a better and safer country for us all, especially for the most vulnerable among us. Let us be leaders together.

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