White Coats for Black Lives Newsletter — February 2019
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banner image of fireworks with superimposed text: "New Year, New 501c3! We're officially a non-profit organization! Here's to more exciting work in 2019 and beyond."

Stop Los Angeles From Building a $4 Billion Mental Health Jail

"We strongly urge the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors to vote, on February 12th, to reject the plan to build new jails. This plan, which would renovate the Mira Loma facility and build a Consolidated Correctional Treatment Facility downtown, claims to address the mental health needs of those who are incarcerated. As health workers, community members, and families impacted by incarceration, we know that jails are harmful to human health. We strongly urge the Board of Supervisors to immediately reject this $4 billion plan to builds more cages, and pursue public health based alternatives that (1) expand the capacity of medical and mental health care systems, (2) divert people from jail, (3) reduce police contact, and (4) coordinate the county's current studies, investments, and priorities towards producing outcomes that decarcerate the county jail system."

Sign the petition here!

Ways to Get Involved

WC4BL Needs YOU in 2019!
Social Media Curator
We are looking for 1 or 2 volunteers to help us run our social media. Ideally, volunteers will commit to creating at least 60 posts in 6 months. Familiarity with Canva or a graphic design software (e.g. Photoshop) and Buffer are preferred but not required. Please email if you are interested in contributing to our online presence!

National Working Group Member
We want to hear your ideas and vision for WC4BL going into 2019 and beyond! If you're an M1 and want to get even more involved with WC4BL and with organizing your fellow medical students, apply to join the National Working Group by filling out this application. We are committed to anti-racism not only in our work but also in the leadership of the National Working Group. As in all other aspects of life, everyone, regardless of race, must work to dismantle white supremacy; however, it is necessary that we avoid replicating these systems in our organizing. To that end, we have striven to create a non-hierarchical structure among the members of the National Working Group and to center the radical vision of folks who are underrepresented in medicine. We strongly encourage Black and brown students, especially those who are marginalized by gender, sexual orientation, class, etc. to apply.

Going to a medical student group conference? Consider planning a meet-up!
Making connections with other medical student activists and organizers is essential for self-care and for building power as we fight for racial justice in medicine. What better way to build your community of med student-activists than to meet other like-minded WC4BL members in real life? If you are interested in meeting and connecting with fellow med student-activists who are also attending national conferences this year, let the WC4BL National Working Group know by filling out this form, and we will provide e-introductions prior to conferences throughout the academic year.


Now, not only can you rep WC4BL on your white coat lapel or on your book bag, but you can also show your support with vinyl stickers -- perfect for your laptop, notebooks, and travel mugs! Our distinctive logo makes for a great conversation starter and is a great way to introduce WC4BL to others and to share more about the importance of racial justice in medicine.

All items are available at For bulk orders of 10 items or more, please contact to inquire about our bulk shipping discount.
Now that WC4BL is officially registered as a non-profit organization, please consider supporting our work by donating! Your contribution supports important projects like the Racial Justice Report Card that shed light on areas of racial inequity in our medical system. And, of course, all donations are tax-deductible.
Donate today
A new academic year means a new member survey! Let us know more about you and your school's chapter and how the National Working Group can support the fight for racial justice on your campus.
Complete the member survey
News and Resources
On January 7, 2019, a 27-year-old pregnant Black woman named Lashonda Hazard sought care for severe abdominal pain at the Woman and Infant Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. Like so many Black women, her pain and cries for help were dismissed and ignored by medical staff. In text messages she sent hours before her death, she says, " I’m literally dying." Her story, unfortunately, is all too common for Black women in this country, with the Black maternal mortality rate two or three times the rate of white women.

You can read more about her story here and can sign the open letter to demonstrate your solidarity with Lashonda Hazard's family and affirm that you stand with and #BelieveBlackWomen here.

Saying Goodbye to 2018’s Seesaw of Outrage and Numbness
In this article, author Deepa Iyer describes the different roles each of us assume in our resistance work. Providing examples of people who, in 2018, exemplified each of these roles -- frontline responders, healers, storytellers and artists, bridge builders, disruptors, and visionaries -- she challenges us to follow their example in our own lives and leaves us with questions to guide us in reflecting on what we will do in 2019.

Climbing The Ladder: Brown Politicians Will Not Save Us
Undocumented organizer Ella Mendoza writes about representation in electoral politics, asserting that a future in which "brown girls in hoops passing laws that will inherently send other brown girls in hoops to prison," is not the change we need.
Member Spotlight

[ Imagine your face HERE! ]

Let us share your beautiful face with the rest of the WC4BL community! Email us a short blurb about who you are and why you're involved in WC4BL/care about social and racial justice in medicine along with a headshot, and we will feature you as our Member Spotlight in future newsletters! You can reach us at

Please let us know what is happening at your school so that we can share it upcoming newsletters!


Thank you to Mariquit Lu for the header image. You can see more of her work at

Our mailing address is:
White Coats for Black Lives
34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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White Coats for Black Lives · 34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard · Philadelphia, PA 19104 · USA

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