As emerging health care professionals at Howard University, you have been called to fulfill a powerful mission to transform the lives of the communities you work with, especially those of African descent, as well as other marginalized communities. By embodying these values, you will be instrumental in leading communities to meaningful social change, instrumental in providing layers of personal agency to empower collectives of individuals, and instrumental in equalizing access to the fundamental human right (articulated in article 25 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights) of quality health care, administered to all people, without regard to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, or any other arbitrary limitation of personal liberty.
The recognition of, acknowledgement of, discourse on, and eradication of medical racism is now more important than ever. Speaking truth to power is Howard University’s legacy and is the wider legacy of HBCUs. We must have the courage, fortitude, and intellectual stamina to secure equalized health care for Black Americans. The hallmark of our American democracy is the right of free speech and by extension free thought, this is especially salient when placed within the context of intellectual discourse and it must be upheld and protected.
Medical racism has been acknowledge by the highest leadership levels in the country as a pernicious public health threat.
"We need to call it what it is...These things are just true. And we need to speak truth about these disparities, we need to speak truth about racial bias in the health care system." -- Vice President Kamala Harris, Howard University Alumna