University Hospitals staff kneels for reflection on structural racism

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– Staff from University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center took one knee as part of White Coats for Black Lives.

Doctors, nurses and caregivers, all wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic, stayed in silence for several minutes on the lawn of the Lakeside Building Thursday afternoon. Many put one fist into the air, while others bowed their heads to observe “In Silence. In Solidarity.”

“There we will kneel in silent reflection on the persistent issues of structural racism and what each of us as individuals might do to advance racial equity and safety from violence for people of color,” said a statement from chief clinical and scientific officer and president Dr. Dan Simon, and chief diversity officer Dr. Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew.

“Disparities in health care is an outcome of structural racism.  As caregivers, we are called to continue and expand our efforts to assure access to high-quality care and the compassion for which UH is known,” the statement said. “The right thing to do is also to create an environment at UH where African-Americans and all people of color feel welcome, respected and valued.  The change we influence in our communities begins from within.”

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody has sparked all kinds of demonstrations across the country, from protests and riots to the removal of Confederate symbols, as well as conversation about racism in America.

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