Campus Reform | Harvard Medical School signals plans for 'anti-racism curriculum'

Harvard Medical School signals plans for 'anti-racism curriculum'

Citing “the role that academia plays in perpetuating structural racism,” Harvard Medical School released a statement announcing its intention to create anti-racism programming.

Such statements and programs are increasingly commonplace at American universities.

Harvard Medical School announced the implementation of anti-racism training as other American universities create similar programs.

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Harvard Medical School’s Program in Global Surgery and Social Change released a statement on their website, declaring that “we live in a racist world and all play active and passive roles in perpetuating racism.”

“We must be actively anti-racist,” continues the statement. “We absolutely, unapologetically denounce our wretched racist system and its proponents without exception.”

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As part of its “commitment to antiracism,” the program will “focus on measures designed to improve recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color as RAs, Fellows, Faculty, Program coordinators, and support staff at PGSSC” — even though “increased diversity does not guarantee that power is distributed equitably.”

The program will likewise “participate in and lead informed discussions about antiracism through a dedicated anti-racism curriculum,” educating themselves “about the history of racism and colonialism in health, and address racism in our spheres of influence.”

The program will also work to unwind the effects of “slavery and colonialism,” as well as “acknowledge the role that academia plays in perpetuating structural racism” and “engage in the broader academic system, outside of our specific purview of global health, to catalyze meaningful change in the culture of academia.”

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Such pushes for “anti-racism” are by no means new at American universities. 

Young America’s Foundation recently requested “anti-racism” programming materials from University of Kentucky professor Candice Hargons, sparking backlash from the school.

In response, University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto wrote that the school would “not be deterred” in its efforts to enact a “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” plan on campus.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AaronWriterAC