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The College of Medicine strives to ensure that our community is one where all people are free of inequity, prejudice and hatred. We are committed to helping bring an end to the racism and violence that disproportionately impact the Black community.
We are listening to our community, learning from the input of individuals and groups, and working to implement changes that will help us better live up to our anti-racist values. As empathetic physicians, researchers and teachers, we must prepare the next generation of scientists to understand inequities in health and science, and help put an end to them.
Current students can access further information on our anti-racist work on Webcampus.
Take a look at the details of some of the work we are doing to ensure the College of Medicine maintains an equitable and inclusive environment, and prepares all members of our community to help end the violence, health inequities, and racism that disproportionately harm Black Americans.
Stronger Advocates and Better Partners on Anti-Racism
We are developing a report card that will lay out the baseline data on such key indicators as admissions and financial aid, and faculty and professional staff recruitment, retention and promotion.
We are developing a campus-wide climate survey on the current state of the University and experiences with racism. This will be updated regularly, so we are transparent about progress and areas of continuing concern as we work to dismantle racism at Drexel.
Shardé Johnson has been appointed interim director of the Center for Black Culture. The first floor of the Rush Building on 34th Street will be the home for the Center; renovation efforts on this space are now underway.
We've begun an independent review of the Drexel University Police Department. Our goal in taking on this independent review is to address any potential problematic behaviors and practices, and ultimately strengthen the Drexel Police Department.
The University will no longer provide donations or sponsorships to the Philadelphia Police Foundation.
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For the MD Program Class of 2024, Orientation Week in early August included not only the typical introductions to medical school, but also activities that emphasized the anti-racist values of the College of Medicine.
Large-group activities included a diversity panel moderated by Leon McCrea, MD, MPH, senior associate dean for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. McCrea, who is also an associate professor in the Department of Family, Community & Preventive Medicine and the director of the Family Medicine Residency program with Tower Health, ran a discussion about identity, diversity, equity and inclusion in academic and professional settings. Eleven panelists from the College of Medicine faculty and student body shared their experiences and perspectives with the MD Program Class of 2024.
The Class of 2024 had large- and small-group discussions of their own following a screening of the documentary “13th,” about mass incarceration and racism. Students also discussed microaggressions after a presentation by Rita Guevara, MD, an assistant professor of pediatrics and assistant dean of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Students also learned from McCrea and other speakers about:
- The closure of Hahnemann University Hospital, which had been a resource for underserved communities in Philadelphia;
- COVID-19's disproportionate effect on communities of color;
- This summer’s social unrest and the College of Medicine’s plans to create an environment that better reflects our anti-racist values.
Students also had an opportunity to learn, reflect and discuss through a virtual presentation by a Mural Arts tour guide, who led a remote walking tour of some of Philadelphia’s murals – and the neighborhoods they call home.
This Orientation Week activity was organized by Annette Gadegbeku, MD, an associate professor in the Department of Family, Community & Preventive Medicine, and assistant dean of community health within the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. According to Gadegbeku, engaging with Mural Arts artwork would help students see and celebrate the diversity of Philadelphia, where each neighborhood has its own close-knit residents and unique culture.
Gadegbeku wanted to give the future physicians in the Class of 2024 a broader perspective, greater cultural awareness and cultural humility when it comes to the places Philadelphians call home – from Fishtown, to the Italian Market, and beyond.
Although students participated in the tour virtually, the murals added a visual element to help students better understand the Philadelphia community and the smaller communities it contains. Students also answered self-reflection questions following the tour, helping them relate the art to their own perceptions and understanding of the city they now call home.
“The murals tell the stories of different neighborhoods and the people who live there,” Gadegbeku said. “You have to know who you’re serving and who your patients are outside of your office to better serve them and understand their needs.”
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Last week, Drexel University College of Medicine’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion launched an anti-racism workshop series for residency program leaders at College of Medicine affiliate hospitals. The workshops lay the groundwork for participants to work individually and collaboratively to create medical education environments that are free of racism, where diverse groups of physicians can thrive.
In the series’ inaugural workshop, senior associate dean for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Dr. Leon McCrea II, led physicians from the Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program in a conversation on the meanings of diversity, equity and inclusion. Participants then discussed what each of these principles looks like in action in their specific workplace.
The workshop also addressed anti-Black racism specifically. Participants had the opportunity to discuss, as colleagues, the current events that have highlighted horrific, ongoing violence against Black Americans and sparked a national reckoning with systemic racism. McCrea encouraged physicians to draw on their experiences in the workshop when they lead workplace conversations about anti-racism.
“This workshop is just starting to chip away at the ice,” McCrea said.
In their next workshop with McCrea, Crozer-Keystone physicians will continue learning how to lead workplace conversations about anti-racism and about diversity, equity and inclusion. Future meetings will prepare the physicians to educate others about microaggressions, and to collaborate with other staff members and with residents to facilitate a healthy environment.
In the coming months, each College of Medicine affiliated site will begin participating in the workshop series to help create a multitude of environments where everyone feels supported, valued and empowered to learn and grow.
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As our faculty, staff and students work together for structural change and an end to racial injustice, we've asked some members of the College of Medicine's community to share what the Black Lives Matter movement means to them.
Below, we will share a list of sources on this subject, created by our faculty members. We hope you will take the time to engage with and reflect on these resources.