Statement from ISEMPH President on Racial Equity (June 11, 2020)

It is impossible to fully express our sorrow and anger at the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others before them, who have been murdered, injured, or harassed due to the color of their skin.

Racism and racial inequalities are ingrained in society and as scholars, educators, clinicians and students, we have a responsibility to make the world more equitable and just. The mission of the International Society for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health is to foster communication among scientists, students, clinicians and public health professionals to use evolutionary insights to improve medical research and practice, and to use studies of human health and disease to advance evolutionary biology. The Members of the Society’s Council and I call for these fields to collaboratively recognize and acknowledge the role of racism, both historically and in current research and clinical practice, in undermining public health goals and to shift the discourse and agenda of public health, healthcare systems and scientific research to more actively engage in racial justice efforts.

We hope you will join ISEMPH as we commit to:

  • Being intentional about whose research and experiences we highlight in our laboratories and classrooms, recognizing that representation matters
  • Creating and protecting safe spaces for colleagues and students from racially subordinated communities
  • Addressing injustice, racism and structural inequalities wherever and in whichever form they are found in any part of the world, including among countless communities who do not identify as racially subordinate but who have similar experiences of exclusion and discrimination
  • Supporting science, education, and social policies that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion to ensure everyone benefits from different perspectives
  • Promoting research and educational efforts that recognize, investigate and reduce health disparities
  • Supporting individuals and organizations who are working to end racism and social injustice through protest, legal action, and systemic reform efforts
  • The members of the Council and I will evaluate all ISEMPH programs, procedures, and position statements with the express intent of improving diversity, equity, and inclusion at every level of the organization.

Much work remains to be done as individuals, as a society, and as a community. By working together, we can help make the world truly equitable for all.

Barbara N. Horowitz, MD
ISEMPH President

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