Dear Members of the Harvard Medical School Community:
You are likely aware of the incident involving the arrest of a Harvard student by Cambridge police officers last Friday. As authorities investigate, it is abundantly clear that the reverberations of this event are far-reaching and troubling.
As a nation, we are grappling with a host of issues spurring us to reflect on our core values. These issues range from racial and ethnic disparities to immigration, implicit racism, explicit prejudice and the role of law enforcement in serving our communities, to name just a few. At Harvard Medical School, while our priority is the health and wellness of our students and the patients we serve, we also are keenly focused on the importance of social justice.
Today, I attended a peaceful “die-in” demonstration at HMS organized by our students as part of a White Coats 4 Black Lives initiative. It was moving and humbling to see so many of our students and faculty join in solidarity with others across the country, united in a quest for justice and in taking a stand against racism. I came away proud of our students and convinced that we can and will do better.
Another effort of which we can all be proud is the HMS Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion
. It provides a forum for members of our community to engage in open and frank conversations about the inequities that divide us. Through the efforts of the students, faculty and staff who make up the task force, we are working to devise solutions that will result in a more equitable community.
If you are wrestling with the ramifications of this most recent event, or others in our recent past, we encourage you to consider the many resources available to you
as a student or a member of our faculty or staff.
Practicing medicine is all about taking action, and by extension we are empowered to effect change in our society by acting on our HMS values
. We strive to imbue
these values in all that we do. It is our intention that they will guide us to a safe, secure and peaceful community.
George Q. Daley
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine