Reaffirming our values

To:                   BSD and UCM Faculty, Students & Staff
From:              Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD, Dean and EVP for Medical
                       Sharon O’Keefe, UCMC President

Dear members of the Biological Sciences Division and UChicago Medicine community:

The recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police have filled us with horror and dismay.  These acts reflect the deep seated and systemic racism that are present in our society and are pervasive in all aspects of American life including education, health care and law enforcement. 

These actions are the antithesis of what we stand for as an institution.  With our focus on research, education and health care, the BSD and UChicago Medicine must continue to ensure that equity, diversity, fairness, and inclusion are at the heart of everything we do and must be upheld in all aspects of our work.

Across the BSD and UChicago Medicine, we have worked together in concrete ways to continue to advance these values, whether it’s through our commitment to expanding trauma care, our ongoing efforts to recruit and train a diverse group of students, our research that illuminates inequity in health outcomes and explores solutions to these problems, or offering the highest quality care for patients with COVID-19 and expanding access to testing in communities of need. We strive to continue to act in ways that promote equity and support our community. 

As Dean of the Biological Sciences Division and President of the University of Chicago Medical Center, it is important for us to state unequivocally that we do not tolerate racism. We must work together to reaffirm the value of each person across our university and medical center community and to ensure that through our work, our teaching and learning, our research, and our care for patients and our community, we treat everyone with dignity and respect.

We ask each of you, during this difficult time, to work to support one another and reaffirm our core values. Through our Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Urban Health Initiative and other groups on campus, there are ways to get more involved to help make a difference in the community we serve.