Social justice in health care

Racism is and must be universally acknowledged as a threat to public health. 
— Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson

Cathy LysackDear college friends,

This is a rare moment in history. So much of society has looked injustice in the eye and recognized that we cannot go back to the way things were before. In all sectors of society, people know in their hearts that things are not right – and that they must be made right. We have reached a tipping point. Something must change. 

The June 10 Strike for Black Lives in the STEM and scientific research communities counts among its organizers Wayne State's own Dr. Nausheen Shah, a theoretical particle physicist who does research on the Higgs boson and dark matter. I'm proud to be part of something so big that had its seed in Detroit and at Wayne State. This speaks to who we are as an institution – and, as members of the university community, we are all part of it. 

One idea can change everything. The Particles for Justice group had the idea for a strike. Because of them, I am able to share with you their incredible list of resources aimed to inform and educate us all about what Black Lives Matter is really about – and how deep are its roots. 

For all the pain that is being released in the world right now, this is also a chance for a new beginning, and one that must be nurtured so it grows.

Here at the college, we are committed to doing our part. We are currently evaluating the feedback we received at our June 12 facilitated dialogue on racism, and plans are in the works to meet with students and others who bring diverse perspectives to the table. A group of passionate students is working to build a college-wide social justice student alliance to collaborate across program lines and amplify voices for change. I am eager to listen to your thoughts and experiences, and to hear your insights and ideas for moving our college forward. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly with your thoughts. 

It's not enough to notice; it's not enough to care. We must act. And the act doesn't have to be big. It can be a pause in your day, a moment of reflection. It can be taking the opportunity to inform yourself by reading an article or book on this list, or attending one of the many online events aimed to educate and inspire frank dialogue on racism. It can be listening to your colleagues and peers, or speaking up so they can hear you. 

We must be part of the change we want to see in the world – and we must start now. We have a shared commitment to keep it going. 

Thank you,

Cathy signature

Dean Cathy Lysack
Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Wayne State University