The Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai stands for equity for all, irrespective of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, familial status, military service, political beliefs, disability, sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and our Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) colleagues and patients.
As public health professionals with a commitment to environmental health, equity, and justice, we have the responsibility to address the ways in which institutionalized racism contributes to health inequities in Black and Brown communities. We know from decades of research that low-income, BIPOC individuals disproportionately bear the brunt of environmental toxins, pollution, and climate change that lead to adverse health outcomes. To address these and other injustices, we must examine all the ways systemic racism manifests, including physical violence and the denial of equal access to basic human rights. We openly condemn and commit to dismantling systems of oppression that deny BIPOC communities equitable access to health care, food, housing, employment, education, and healthy environments. Racism is a public health crisis that is the root cause of all these problems. Racism must be addressed in order to protect the health and wellbeing of all people.
We call upon our colleagues to share accountability and make space to learn and unlearn the ways in which we have been complicit in perpetuating anti-blackness and systems of oppression that knowingly and unknowingly favor white people. It is our responsibility to prove through our actions, in our workplace, our research, our clinical services, community collaborations, and policy initiatives that we are committed to implementing anti-racism. We will not remain silent or passive on this issue.
- We will commit resources to combat discrimination in all its forms.
- We will educate ourselves on anti-racism and prepare our trainees to combat systemic racism to promote change.
- We will continue to build community partnerships to ensure the care we deliver reflects the needs of the communities we serve.
- We will advocate for BIPOC patients in both words and actions.
- We will respect and support our BIPOC trainees, faculty, and staff, and increase their numbers to levels that better represent the population of New York City. We will also support their advancement into leadership positions in academia.
- We will work to end racially and financially separate and unequal care within our institution.