Statement on Racial Justice
The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor by police officers & Ahmaud Arbery by vigilantes have shaken our nation. They are but a few among an overwhelming number of African American men, women and children who have lost their lives to anti-black violence. These killings occurred in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, which exposed long-standing socio-economic and racial health inequalities in our society. The national and international outrage in response to structural racism has been encouraging, and we hope that the public demonstration of outrage creates space for meaningful change towards racial justice and equality.
The Programs in Physical Therapy at Columbia University (CUDPT) unequivocally condemns all forms of racism. During these difficult times, our thoughts and support go out to our African American students and colleagues. We are determined to ensure that Black Lives Matter.
As health care professionals we have a commitment to fight for justice and serve people irrespective of race and socioeconomic status. The CUDPT programs are committed to a culture of respect, diversity, and justice. We must foster change, individually and collectively, both within our organization and within our communities. The programs have committed to the following goals:
- Create a task force in partnership with students, alumni and faculty that expands the dialogues about race and racism and develops a vision and goals on individual, organizational, program, and community levels
- Provide support to students of color and African American students in particular
- Create resources to promote individual and collective reflection and growth
- Reaffirm our commitment to diversity in our students, faculty and staff, and improve student and faculty diversity
- Continue to assess and improve curriculum content, research and clinical practice aimed at social and cultural determinants of health and illness, and racial justice with the goal of improving the health of all people
- Embody a culture of respect, integrity, and diversity
The faculty and staff stand together with students and are united in our commitment to racial justice.