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June 8, 2020

AIMC Berkeley Presidential Statement & Anti-Racism Action Plan

AIMC, Berkeley’s President Yasuo Tanaka issued the following statement today (June 8th, 2020):

During this challenging time, please know that AIMC Berkeley firmly stands by its founding principles of diversity and inclusion and that the administration is fully committed to addressing the need for action. AIMC Berkeley condemns racism, injustice, and violence.

Over the past 3,000 years, our medicine has fought against various forms of pathogens in an effort to protect the health, well-being, and lives of those we treat. We are currently faced with two horrifying pathogens simultaneously – the COVID-19 virus and the pandemic of continued racism and discrimination. While one is considered novel, the other has always existed, infesting our way of life, our society, and our well-being. The senseless killing of George Floyd is a painful reminder of the devastation of this pandemic.

While there is hope for medical protections against COVID-19, history tells us that the plague of injustice is not easily eliminated. Traditional Eastern approaches to fighting pathogens have been strategic and focus not only on the pathogenic factor itself but strengthening the body’s qi. Practitioners can work to support the basic foundation of Human Rights and Health Equity while fighting for change. AIMC Berkeley holds the belief that substantial action must take place, within our institution as well as out, to address health inequities and the pandemic of racism.

As a campus community, we must uphold a standard of care and respect in both words and actions that lives up to our founding principles and strategic plan. To this end, health equity and anti-racist training must be at the forefront of our strategic work. We will establish an anti-racism working group composed of students, staff, and faculty to re-examine our own practices, curriculum, and school environment. Our strategic plan aims to produce practitioners who possess knowledge and experience serving diverse populations. Today, we recommit to these efforts and pledge to strengthen diversity and inclusion training within our didactic and clinical curriculum and school community. We also recognize the need to support the diversity of our community by making our school and medicine more accessible. To address this need, we are announcing a Diversity Scholarship. Through these actions and self-reflection, we hope to honor the memory of those whose lives have been lost or forever changed by the plague of racism.

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