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.
"Look, first of all, call it what it is...call it by it's name and then let's address it but if we don't call it by its name then we will not deal with it appropriately."
"We need to call it what it is...we need to speak truth about the racial bias in the health care system...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."
"I think its important for people to understand the difference between equality and equity...equality means everybody gets the same thing...but there's an assumption in that that everyone starts out in the same place. Everyone doesn't start out in the same place, so that's the point of equity, which is to say are the outcomes equitable, meaning does everyone end up in the same place...taking into account not everyone is born on 3rd base."
-- Vice President Kamala Harris, Howard University Alumna