Our Commitment to You

As healthcare providers, we have an obligation to do no harm. But our obligations go further to prevent harm from befalling others because of our inaction or silence. We can no longer be idle while vestigial institutions and implements of racism that perpetuate inequity remain intact. Silence for the sake of avoiding an uncomfortable truth is not acceptable and it was never acceptable. Indifference to racism makes us complicit in systems that have oppressed, marginalized, and scapegoated people for generations. In a country long heralded as the land of the free, being Black or a member of an underrepresented minority group cannot be a disqualification for enjoying the rights and privileges afforded to others.

Racism and social injustice in the Unites States claimed the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other persons of color. Breonna Taylor, a fellow Kentuckian, UK alumna, and healthcare provider, died at the hands of people who are supposed to be keepers of the peace. Violence is but one facet of the chronic and pervasive racism that has plagued our communities. Medicine is not immune to the consequences of our nation's inequities; they affect us, our colleagues, and our patients and impair our ability to provide comfort and care. As healthcare providers, we begin addressing symptoms such as implicit bias and healthcare disparities by recognizing that they stem from hundreds of years of oppression.

We proudly stand with other members of the medical community and proclaim Black Lives Matter. We stand with the people of color and others in our community and across the United States in denouncing the abhorrent treatment that Black people, other persons of color, and other underrepresented groups have endured. We stand with others who pledge to be anti-racist and who work to tear down the pillars of institutional racism. As a department, UK College of Medicine Department of Neurology is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusivity. With only 3% of neurologists being Black or African American and only 7% Hispanic-Latino, in an effort to counter decades of neglect, we commit to recruiting colleagues from underrepresented groups and ensuring that they thrive in an environment that is free from racism and bigotry. We commit to supporting young, underrepresented persons in our community so that we can have greater diversity among physicians in our field in the future. We must do better. We will do better.

Neurology/UK Resources

  • Statement by Dr. Ima Ebong and Society of Black Neurologist colleagues at Neurology Blog - AAN Voices: Lived Experiences (Link)
  • UK Neurologists Working to Ensure Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (Link)
  • University of Kentucky Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Implementation Plan (Link)
  • University of Kentucky Office of LGBTQ* Resources (Link)
  • Center for Excellence for Transgender Health (Link)
  • National LGBT Health Education Center (The Fenway Institute) (Link)
  • The Joint Commission LGBT Field Guide - (Link)
  • Neurology Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Site: (Link)
  • Neurology Caregiver Corner - LGBTQ caregiver (Link)
  • LGBT and Neurology (Link)
  • Learn about AAN Diversity Initiatives (Link)
  • Diversity Doesn’t Stick Without Inclusion (Link)
  • NINDS/NIH Enhancing Diversity (Link)
  • Explanation of systemic racism: (Link)
  • Bryan Stephenson  "The Frustration Behind the George Floyd Protests" (Link)
  • National Museum of African-American History: (Link)
  • New York Times 1619 podcast: (Link)

External Resources

  • Kentucky Commission on Human Rights: The State of African Americans in the State of Kentucky (2009) (Link)
  • Lexington-Fayette Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) (Link)
  • Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County (Link)
  • Donate to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) (Link)
  • Donate to one of Kentucky's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)Kentucky State University and Simmons College of Kentucky (Link)
  • Kentucky African-American Heritage Commission (Link)

Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Towards achievement of the goals outlined in our strategic plan, ODEI intentionally creates engagement opportunities and initiatives for faculty, staff, and learners. These opportunities can be best organized into five domains: education, climate/culture, support/advocacy, recruitment, and community engagement.

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