AMWA Executive Director Dr. Eliza Chin joined a GlobalMindED panel to discuss The Future of Work is Diverse and Inclusive: How Systemic Change Can Reverse Generational Inequities. This panel was part of GlobalMindEd’s Annual Conference, organized by Carol Carter (Founder, GlobalMindED).
Moderated by Telisa Yancy (COO, American Family Insurance), the panel included leaders representing a diverse array of backgrounds and professions: Oscar Sweeten-Lopez (President, College Success Tools, Dell Foundation), Ronald McNeil (Co-Founder & CEO, Great Ball of Light, Inc.), Ron Lessard (Acting Exec. Director White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaskan Native Education, U.S. Dept. of Education), Emanuel Walker (Business Analyst Intern, Vertafore), and Dr. Eliza Lo Chin (AMWA Executive Director).
Dr. Chin highlighted AMWA’s focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion and the importance of having diversity within medicine to better care for the populations that we treat. In addition, she shared how recent events had sparked important, deep discussions on racism within healthcare, particularly areas within medicine that might have roots in racism and how change could occur – whether by updating clinical guidelines, posing the right research questions, or becoming more aware in clinical decision-making. AMWA was one of the first medical associations to speak out openly about racism in a statement released earlier this month.
Ms. Yancy shared a quote from Jack Salzwedel, CEO of American Family Insurance, “Under pressure, you see the cracks in a foundation. And also under pressure, you see what people are made of, you see what systems are made of, and you see what culture is made of…Our challenge as leaders within our company and within our community is to make sure that this is the worst moment that those of us [who] are alive today face.”
Ms. Yancy then asked two pivotal questions: How do we seize the current moment of alignment between communities of color, their allies, and where the world is going to make sure that this present moment – in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion – is the worst moment we see? What if 2020 is the best moment that we have? In other words, could 2020 be the “pivotal moment in our history” that people will write about? Could this be the year that people, corporations, educational institutions, foundations, and professions come together to change society?
Change requires action. Dr. Chin shared AMWA’s recent Commitment Statement Against Racism, particularly highlighting some of the ways in which the association intends to work within the healthcare profession to help overturn racism:
- Incorporating a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) lens, with a focus on anti-racism, into each AMWA committee and initiative
- Advocating for policies and actions that eliminate racism within the healthcare system
- Advocate for the inclusion, in medical schools and residency programs, of a curriculum on social determinants of health, impact of racism on health, and racism in medicine
- Deconstruct the notion of race as a biological determinant in health, science, and medicine
- Expand opportunities for Black women to become physicians and realize their career aspirations
- Advocate for government recognition of racism as a public health crisis at both the state and federal levels
Read AMWA’s full Commitment Statement Against Racism here.