The Francis Howell school district in St. Louis, MO responded to the protests that followed the murder of George Floyd three years ago with a resolution to take action against systemic racism. This type of racism is characterized by structures, policies, and practices that contribute to the wealth gap, health disparities, and inequalities in access to education, outcomes, and beyond. To this end, the United States has reiterated its commitment to address these issues on the occasion of the United Nations (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
In addition to governmental efforts, academic circles in sociology are opposed to the idea that there is a common biological basis within a racial category. Meanwhile, academic medicine has seen trends that rely on race-specific pharmacological or physiological differences to explain racial differences in outcomes and metrics. To further this cause, the Tri-i PhD class has been working with program leaders to incorporate a journal club into the formal summer curriculum for future Tri-i classes. This journal club will provide a space for debates about the fight against racism and will help students understand and implement topics related to social justice in medicine and science.
The programs also support local-led efforts to combat all types of racial and ethnic hatred and violence and to facilitate access to justice for victims of racism. These initiatives are essential for creating a more equitable society where everyone is treated with respect and dignity.