#DifferentTogether Pledge

June 12, 2020: A Community Update from UBC Faculty of Medicine Dean Dermot Kelleher

Dear friends and colleagues,

During the last few weeks, following the murder of George Floyd on May 25th, people around the world have had to confront the stark reality that racism and discrimination are more pervasive in our societies than they may have realized.

To fulfil our Faculty’s vision of “transforming health for everyone”, we must work individually and collectively to eradicate racism and discrimination in all its forms. We must also acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of our history and be steadfast in our commitment to actively promote social justice, challenge racism and discrimination, and address disparities and inequities.

As the Faculty of Medicine at UBC, we commit to the following actions:

  • We will increase financial and human resources to support the implementation of the recommendations arising from the Dean’s Task Force on Respectful Environments report; the Faculty response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report; and the Faculty’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategy. Specific resources will be allocated to support anti-racism activities.
  • We will increase our efforts to improve diversification of our student, staff and faculty populations to better represent the B.C. and Canadian population, and increase supports and inclusion activities to ensure their success.
  • We will review our teaching, research materials and methods to ensure they neither propagate racism or discrimination overtly, or through stereotyping, or through omission of underrepresented groups.
  • We will broadly communicate our organizational values and expectations, and ensure that behaviour is measured against them.
  • We will implement strong benchmarks and measures for all of these actions so that we can hold ourselves and our colleagues accountable.
  • We will prioritize equity, diversity and inclusion as we develop and review our policies, practices and procedures.

In addition to these commitments, we will support and align with the actions articulated by UBC President Ono, and with the UBC Inclusion Action Plan and Indigenous Strategic Plan.

Last week, I was moved by our Lieutenant Governor, Honourable Janet Austin’s #DifferentTogether Pledge and wanted to find a way to bring that into the work we are undertaking in the Faculty. When you click on the link below, you will see a compelling video of this pledge spoken by members of our Faculty from all across the province.

Please watch and think about reciting the pledge yourself. But don’t just say the words, please also take a personal action. Think about the words and act. Individual small actions are all part of the process of cultural change and as an organization committed to improving human lives, all of our individual actions are important.