Dear AAS Members,
On May 25, 2020, Mr. George Floyd lost his life in an unimaginable way. This event and so many others continue to highlight the ongoing and longstanding racial injustices across our nation and has left many of us feeling sad, angry, and unsure of how to move forward. All this while we are still grappling with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic which disproportionately impacted racial and ethnic minority groups, further underscoring the downstream effects of healthcare disparities.
Our hearts go out to the Floyd family and to the countless other families who have been deeply impacted by these inexplicable acts of violence and racism. Expressing our deepest sorrow is simply not enough. The AAS condemns systemic racism and oppression targeting people of color. We stand today with a renewed sense of purpose, to cherish our organization’s rich diversity, champion our research aimed at achieving health equity, and mentor a diverse group of academic surgeons responsible for training the next generation of healthcare providers. Our society is a strong, proud, and diverse surgeon workforce, and we will continue to strive to reflect the diverse demographics of the United States of America. We will endeavor to actively engage in research that brings surgeon-scientists together to achieve positive and sustaining solutions that will impact the health and wellbeing of the diverse communities we serve. We pledge to use our platform to call out unjust policies, procedures, and acts which conflict with our shared mission of a diverse and dynamic academic surgical workforce.
“I can’t breathe!” is a call to action. Unraveling racism requires investment from all of us, not just minorities, and the AAS is committed to doing this work. We hope our members will bring their voices to the conversation, as we work together to develop solutions and pledge to be a part of the change that is long overdue. For our members of color, who encounter and suffer racial inequities either inside or outside the hospital, please know we see you, we support you and the AAS is here for you.
We ask you to raise your voices by sharing this message on Twitter and all other forms of social media. Silence can be deafening.
|Eugene S. Kim, MD
|Amir Ghaferi, MD
|Fabian M. Johnston, MD MHS
|Carrie Lubitz, MD
|Hari Nathan, MD
|Callisia Clarke, MD
Chair, AAS Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force