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Anti-Racism

We, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Board of Directors, support the AAP’s formal policy statement acknowledging and apologizing for past racism against Black pediatricians, which laid bare the racist attitudes and beliefs of early leaders. AAP is committed to dismantling all forms of racism now and in the future – and so are chapters across the country.

At the MNAAP’s July 2020 Board meeting, we 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.

Our work will be 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.

To fully commit to the work of anti-racism, the Executive Committee strongly recommended creating an anti-racism team, composed of MNAAP chapter members and non-chapter pediatricians from MN that will help us begin to find the ways our organization can address structural racism internally and inform the conversation externally.

This team will work directly with chapter leadership to ensure all decisions regarding policies, finances, legislative priorities, leadership positions and other chapter functions are made applying a racial equity lens. This team will discuss and propose initial, measurable action steps to the Board by February 1, 2021.

MNAAP is investing 5 hours of staff time and support per month to this committee and anticipates volunteers would contribute 1-2 hours per month from September through January 2021. Ideally, the team will consist of 8 or more pediatricians. Efforts will be made to invite participation from pediatricians of color in particular.

To learn more, to participate in this team or if you are interested in taking a leadership position with the work team, contact Dr. Sheldon Berkowitz or Melissa DeBilzan by September 1. Thank you.

The resources listed below have either featured MNAAP members lending their expertise in anti-racism work, or have been recommended as useful education sources for anyone looking to learn more becoming anti-racist in their work in medicine, in the lives of children they influence, and in their own personal journey toward an anti-racist world.

Podcasts

Bringing Up Race and Racial Identity in Well Visits | Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, discussed why and how pediatricians can be advocates for change in their practice as well as their communities in a Peds RAP podcast.

What Is Black Podcast – How are the Kids doing? | This episode is an excerpt of a special live-recorded conversation host Dr. Jacqueline Douge (a pediatrician and mom of color) had with her colleagues, discussing how their children are doing and coping during these unprecedented times and ways to improve the systems that determine health outcomes. Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was a guest on this podcast.

Code Switch from NPR | This podcast series from NPR explores overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture, and how they play out in our lives and communities.

Books

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum

So You Want to Talk About Race  by Ijeoma Oluo

Websites

Embrace Race | EmbraceRace was founded in early 2016 by two parents (one Black, the other multiracial Black/White) who set out to create the community and gather resources to meet the challenges they face raising children in a world where race matters. Since that time, EmbraceRace has grown into a multiracial community of parents, teachers, experts, and other caring adults who support each other to meet the challenges that race poses to our children, families, and communities.

Raising Race Conscious Children |  This website is a resource to support adults who are trying to talk about race with young children. The goals of these conversations are to dismantle the color-blind framework and prepare young people to work toward racial justice.

The 1619 Project by The New York Times Magazine | This ongoing initiative began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.

Videos

CommonSense Media – Helping Kids Process Violence, Trauma, and Race in a World of Nonstop News | Child development, children’s health, and trauma-care experts talk about ways families can support their children, one another, and a just future. Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, was a guest on this panel discussion.

Something Happened In Our Town |   Story Time is a Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center program and Atlantis School For Gifted Youngsters produced series that highlights children’s books that are inspiring, empowering, and educational.  This video animates the story “Something Happened In Our Town” a child’s story about racial injustice.

Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man  | Emmanuel Acho, former NLF linebacker and FOX sports analyst, sits down to have an “uncomfortable conversation” with white America, in order to educate and inform on racism, system racism, social injustice, rioting, and the hurt African Americans are feeling today. (This is the first video in a series on YouTube.)

(Updated 8/19/20)

 

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