PMPH's Response to Racism & Violence in the USA

A Message from the PMPH Interim Chair

June 1, 2020

Over the past week, we have seen horrific examples of the inequities and racial violence that exist in our society. The death of George Floyd and the ensuing protests are a stark reminder that we have many problems in our society. Unfortunately, events such as these are not new to the U.S., and they have caused much pain, fear, anxiety, and trauma.  

One of our core values in PMPH and at UTMB is to honor diversity and inclusion. What we have been witnessing, and continue to witness, highlights precisely why we hold inclusion, equity, and justice so valued in all that we do.  At UTMB and PMPH, we promote active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity.  This core value is built largely upon our profession’s code of ethics, where health and social justice and equity are viewed as essential for human flourishing.  Further, we do not tolerate violations of these core values at UTMB or in our profession.

As the Executive Director of APHA, Dr. Georges Benjamin, describes in the statement linked below, we cannot be silent about this.  Part of public health practice is taking action.

Now more than ever, it is critical that we continue to stand together to fight racism in all its forms.  This includes watching out for each other.  We have utmost concern for the safety and mental and physical health of our faculty, students, and staff, especially those whose communities have been, and continue to be, impacted.  If you have any concerns about any of our UTMB family, please let us know immediately.  If you witness or learn of any acts of racial hatred, discrimination, or action, report it.

- Kristen Peek, PhD

Resources: 

Talking About Race, a new online portal, designed by the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History & Culture, that was launched to help individuals, families, and communities talk about racism, racial identity, and the way these forces shape every aspect of society, from the economy and politics to the broader American culture.

The 1619 Project, an initiative from The New York Times Magazine, aims to reframe the history of the US by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative. The Pulitzer Center also has lessons plans available to help bring the content from The 1619 Project to students and classrooms..