At the MNAAP Board of Directors July 2020 meeting, the group discussed the importance of recognizing our own racism and working to become actively anti-racist. MNAAP condemns racism, discrimination and oppression in all forms. We affirm that racism and oppression are public health crises with serious physical and mental health consequences for our communities.
Soon thereafter in September, the chapter’s anti-racism task force was formed with 20 members from health systems and private practices all over Minnesota. The task force was guided by the following principles:
Amplify the voices of those most directly affected by racism and injustice; racism and oppression are not their responsibility to solve. The responsibility to dismantle racism falls on white people.
Ensure a just, equitable and inclusive educational, clinical, research and advocacy environment for pediatricians in Minnesota.
Take all needed steps to identify and dismantle unjust and inequitable systems, as individuals and collectively. This includes systems of white supremacy and other forms of oppression and discrimination within our organization, pediatric practices and hospital systems in Minnesota.
Over the course of monthly meetings, the members who volunteered their time and insights broke into three sub-groups:
Clinical Practice: to provide recommendations to address racism among our pediatric practice as well as with clinical and office staff.
Workforce: to provide recommendations to promote anti-racism among pediatric training programs, medical schools and recommendations that promote diversity in the workforce.
Advocacy: to promote anti-racism at the state and community level.
The anti-racism task force will work directly with chapter leadership to ensure all decisions regarding policies, finances, legislative priorities, leadership positions and other chapter functions are made while applying a racial equity lens. The anti-racism task force also identified the need to conduct an internal review of the chapter: our membership and our bylaws/meeting minutes/grant proposals, as well as our suppliers with an equity and anti-racist lens.
The task force is set to discuss and propose initial, measurable action steps to the Board at a special meeting on Thursday, March 18. Following that meeting, the MNAAP Board will report back which recommendations they can implement through one or more action steps within a given timeframe of six months, one year and 18 months.
|Task Force Members:
Bonnie Bentson, MD
Abbe Penziner – Bokde, MD, FAAP
Carol Carlson, MD, FAAP
Vijay Chawla, MD, FAAP
Elena Galindo, MD
Anjali Goel, MD, FAAP
Lucien Gonzalez, MD, MS, FAAP
Kimara Gustafson, MD, FAAP
Margie Hogan, MD, FAAP
Yasmin Khan, MD, FAAP
Sandy Liu, MD
Robert Mills, MD
Jennifer Myaeng, DO, FAAP
Ifelayo Ojo, MBBS, MPH, FAAP
Liz Placzek, MD, FAAP
Rachel Tellez, MD, MS, FAAP
Amanda Webb, MD, FAAP
Chris Williams, MD
About the Authors
Eileen Crespo, MD, FAAP, serves as MNAAP’s President-elect, and co-chaired the Anti-Racism Task Force with Katie Sadak, MD, FAAP.