Yesterday at 4PM, a young man lost his life in West Philadelphia. According to reports, he had a history of mental illness and was brandishing a knife, as he walked towards police. As I view the video which documented this occurrence, I see a young man, younger than my nephew, who is indeed, walking towards police. He was not running towards the officers but was simply walking. Why is it that the initial response to such a circumstance is to release a flurry of bullets? Why is it that the deadliest display of force is the first response? Why isnât it the last strategy? Why not use a Taser first rather than consider this method as an afterthought? It…Read more on How Can We Go Forward as a Community and as a Society?
Conversations About Inclusion and Diversity
It is hard to believe, just within nine weeks following the death of Congressman John Lewis, we have lost another social justice icon. In the midst of continued daily assaults on the fragile fabric of our democratic ideals and aspirations, it is almost too much to bear.
Just one week ago, the world was shocked by the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RBG). Although short in stature, she cast a long shadow, effectively shaping the legal framework affirming gender equality in our nation. Her six cases that she argued before the Supreme Court in the early 70s were strategically selected, sometimes choosing men as plaintiffs:
- Reed v. Reed 404 U.S. 71: The Fourteenth Amendment was extended to…
As we continue to mourn the death of Congressman John Lewis, it is important to recognize the lessons he taught us during his lifetime. Three quotes come to mind which we should consider as we launch a series of virtual town hall meetings related to our initiative, ACT: Action for Cultural Transformation.
The first quote is the following: âWe will stand up for what is right, for what is fair and what is just. Health care is a right and not a privilege.â As we search for improvements to the care of our patients, this quote should be our moral compass. As clinicians, we should seek to strip away those âraceâ based correction factors that contribute to additional structural…Read more on In Honor of Congressman John Lewis (1940-2020)
Today Friday, June 19, marks Juneteenth - a commemoration of the âfreedomâ of all people living in the United States.
The history of slavery in the United States is a complicated one and very much impacts the current predicament we find ourselves in. Interestingly, Juneteenth relates back to Abraham Lincoln and the conversation that I had with my daughter Lena about the abolition of slavery.
In the history of the slave trade to the New World, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. 10.7 million Africans survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America. While less than 400,000 of those slaves arrived in America, by…Read more on Celebrating Juneteenth – Continuing Our Movement
As two-thirds of the 50 states began relaxing their anti-COVID-19 restrictions, a May 15 virtual seminar convened by the University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) brought together scientists who have created different simulator models to predict the economic and health changes various levels of policy relaxations may bring.Read more on COVID-19 Key Concerns for Reopening the Economy
The “outbreak of pneumonia of an unknown cause” was first reported in Wuhan, China on Dec. 31, 2019, and was in the U.S. by mid-January. Since then, the virus named COVID-19 has resulted in nearly 90,000 deaths and 1.5 million stricken in the United States. The economic burden on the country has also been staggering. More than 36 million Americans filed unemployment claims in two months, numbers unseen since the Great Depression of 1929.Read more on COVID-19 by Georges Benjamin
Due to long standing inequities, the devastation caused by COVID-19 is falling more heavily on the shoulders of already vulnerable people. Families living in tight quarters cannot effectively distance themselves if a member of the household becomes infected, and “staying home” is not economically feasible for low-income undocumented immigrants who are currently being denied access to social safety net programs including the CARES Act stimulus checks.Read more on COVID-19 by Catherine Raney
On February 11, the World Health Organization officially named the 2019 novel coronavirus as COVID-19. At that time the virus felt like it was a world away from our doorsteps. Few could have predicted that less than two months later we would be facing a public health crisis here in our local community that is impacting communities of color disproportionately. Originally it was assumed that that first US fatality was in late February, but recently learned COVID-19 was present prior to that.Read more on COVID-19 by Brandon Grant
The COVID-19 pandemic has required major changes to where we work and how we communicate at work. Many of us are adapting to challenging online meeting environments: poor-quality calls with background noise, video chats with colleagues required to wear facemasks, and pre-recorded lectures with limited interaction. For those of us who are d/Deaf or hard-of-hearing, however, those types of virtual interactions are not just challenging – they can make our equal participation impossible.Read more on COVID-19 by Hannah Anderson
There has been a continuous outcry for increased testing during this pandemic and unfortunately, the absence of a nationally coordinated system of testing has not emerged. In the state of Pennsylvania, the number of tests per million is reported to be 15,029 which is less than half than other states such as New York, Massachusetts, and Louisiana and 33% less than New Jersey.Read more on Too Much to Lose: Lives and Livelihoods