White Coats for Black Lives is excited to start a new academic year full of organizing for racial justice! This August newsletter includes information about ways to get involved, highlights actions from our chapters and allied organizations, and includes links to resources that may be of interest to our members. As always, we invite members to let us know about your projects so they can be included in the next newsletter!
WC4BL is proud to support BYP100's She Safe, We Safe campaign to end gender violence faced by Black women, girls, femmes, and gender non-conforming people. The campaign seeks to support interventions in gender-based violence that do not rely on police, and reallocate funding from police to community-determined programs that address gender-based violence in Black communities. WC4BL members can support the campaign by sharing the petition on Facebook or Twitter, or sharing this link with their contacts.
Four Ways to Get Involved
1. Form a New Chapter White Coats for Black Lives welcomes applications for new chapters. Although our chapters have traditionally been school- or hospital-based, we also encourage medical students and house staff to form geographic (i.e. city-, county- or state-based) chapters to facilitate collaboration and movement building. More information about forming a chapter can be found in our chapter handbook. If, after reading our handbook, you are interested in forming a chapter, please contact the WC4BL National Working Group.
2. Join the Monthly Chapter Call WC4BL will be hosting monthly Zoom calls for chapters to share their experiences, develop new campaigns, and build power. Calls for the remainder of the year are scheduled for the following dates:
Saturday, September 12, at 3 PM EST
Saturday, October 10, at 3 PM EST
Saturday, November 14, at 3 PM EST
Saturday, December 12, at 3 PM EST
You can register now for the September call. Please note that monthly chapter calls are limited to medical students and house staff; we invite attendings and school or hospital administrators to reach out to their local chapters to learn how they can contribute to the work of WC4BL.
3. Grade your School Using the Racial Justice Report Card The 2020 Racial Justice Report Card is almost here! The Racial Justice Report Card is an annual initiative that grades medical schools and their affiliated academic medical centers on their performance in a variety of areas, including reparations, abolition of policing and carceral systems, and equitable compensation of employees. The Racial Justice Report Card will have revised metrics this year, but any chapters hoping to get a head start can check out prior report cards on the WC4BL website. All WC4BL chapters will be grading their institutions this year -- if you do not have a chapter at your institution but would like to participate, please let us know!
4. Join the WC4BL National Slack WC4BL is reviving our national Slack, which will allow members to communicate directly with other members from around the country to coordinate projects and and share resources. If you are interested in joining the Slack, you can sign up here.
The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) chapter of White Coats for Black Lives has joined local community organizations to advocate for release of people incarcerated in California prisons, particularly given the rapid and catastrophic spread of COVID among incarcerated individuals. The chapter has been using direct actions, petitions, and social media toolkits all aimed at wider movement building. Members of the UCSF chapter would love to connect with other people who are working on decarceration to collaborate or share resources!
News and Resources
Check out the resources below to learn more about the history of racism in medicine, racial capitalism, the intersections of COVID-19 and racism, and the fight for a single-payer healthcare system.
Haymarket Books is hosting a variety of webinars, including the following which may be of particular interest to WC4BL members:
WC4BL is collaborating with Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP) to organize around the intersection of racism and capitalism and advocate for a universal, single-payer health care system. We encourage our chapters to partner with local SNaHP chapters, and will be sharing more resources to facilitate this collaboration in the near future. WC4BL members can learn more about the intersection between single-payer healthcare and racial justice using the following resources:
Joy Achuonjei is a first year medical student at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell in Hempstead, NY. She recently joined the White Coats 4 Black Lives National Working Group and is a co-founder of the local chapter and her medical school. Broadly, her interests are in prison abolition, reform in medical education, and medical school admissions policies.
Prior to medical school, Joy worked as an undergraduate admissions counselor and product management in EdTech. Joy received her BA in 2011 and MS in 2016 both in neuroscience from Columbia University. She is undecided about future specialty, right now she feels extremely grateful to be a student again. She is looking forward to working with White Coats for Black Lives members this year!
Please let us know what is happening at your school so that we can share it upcoming newsletters!