The College of Pharmacy’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee has developed a “Statement on Loss and Systemic Racism Against Black People,” which reflects the College’s commitment to this critical social and humanitarian issue. “If we are to be effective in this quest for equality, we must take action. I charged the College’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee with developing a statement that would be our first step in taking action,” said Dean Kelly Smith. The full text of the Statement is available on the College of Pharmacy Diversity and Inclusion page.
Another action step that the College has taken has been to host “Town Hall on Racism: A Courageous Conversation,” a virtual panel discussion, held on Friday, June 26, at 7 pm. Almost 60 CoP faculty, staff, students, and guests participated , and the town hall was deemed a success. Moderated by Dr. Vivia Hill-Silcott, Director of Diversity Programs and Academic Support, the panel included Dr. Brian Cummings, PBS Department Head; Dr. Henry Young, CAP Kroger Professor; and Dr. Anneliese Singh, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Mary Frances Early College of Education. The panel responded to audience questions and offered their perspective on such critical issues as student inclusion, community protests, and our outlook on the future regarding this important topic. Dean Kelly Smith welcomed Dr. Marie Chisholm-Burns, a ’92, ’93 alumnae of the UGA College of Pharmacy and the Dean of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee. Dean Chisholm-Burns called on her fellow participants to adopt an attitude of “Radical Empathy” in dealing with the current racial crisis in our country.
“While I believe these initial steps are the right course of action for our college to take, there is still much that needs to be done. You will hear more about these action steps in the near future. In recent weeks, we have witnessed horrific tragedies against Black individuals. Racism, hate, and intolerance are still alive. Our collective actions will move us closer to rewriting the narratives for Black people in America. We are reminded that when we work together to support each other, we do better as a society,” said Dean Smith.