VP&S Anti-Racism Task Force
The Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons (VP&S) Anti-Racism Task Force (ARTF) was commissioned by Deans Anil Rustgi, Jonathan Amiel, and Lisa Mellman as part of a Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC)-wide initiative to confront the issues of structural racism and implement durable antiracist solutions.
The charge of the Task Force was to recommend best practices in anti-racist undergraduate medical education, focusing on:
- Student Support
- The Learning Environment
The ARTF used a rigorous, multipronged process for developing recommendations, including engagement with VP&S area directors and experts, review of statements and presentations from student-led groups (White Coats for Black Lives [WC4BL] Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association [AAPAMSA], and the Anti-Racist Coalition), and a review of scholarly literature with a focus on anti-racist initiatives within peer medical schools. The group also reviewed and celebrated the decades of work already in this area by the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs headed by Hilda Hutcherson, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.
We want to thank the VP&S Task Force Co-Chairs, Linda Aponte-Patel, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, and Sidney Hankerson, MD Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, for their tireless work in setting the stage for our school’s longitudinal work to ensure an anti-racist learning environment. The VP&S ARTF taskforce called for advancements in the Curriculum, Admissions, Student Support, and the Learning Environment. One fundamental recommendation was to “Launch a new Equity & Justice committee.”
VP&S Office of Education Staff Anti-Racism Initiative
The VP&S Office of Education is committed to fostering an environment free of racism, discrimination, and harassment, where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, can contribute fully, and have equal opportunities. The resources and reporting forms listed below are intended to support staff as we strive toward that goal.
VP&S Anti-Racism Coalition
In response to this core ARTF recommendation as well as others, the Office of Education has launched the VP&S Anti-Racism Coalition (ARC). The ARC represents an interdisciplinary effort to promote a sustainable culture of inclusion and diversity, to create, adopt and strengthen anti-racist educational systems and practices, and to support equity and justice throughout the VP&S learning environment.
The current ARC executive committee includes the following members:
- Hetty Cunningham, MD, Director for Equity and Justice in Curricular Affairs, VP&S, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at CUMC
- Jean-Marie Alves-Bradford, MD, Director of Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, CUMC
- Todd Bates, PhD, MSEd, MA, Education Learning Specialist, CERE, Assistant Clinical Professor of Education Assessment (in Medicine)
- Jalen Dansby, M4 Student, Class President
- Toluwani Dawodu, M4 Student, Equity & Justice Fellow
- Mike Devlin, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at CUIMC
- Jeremiah Douchee, M1 Student, WCBL Representative
- Jean Emond, MD, Chief of Transplantation Services, Thomas S. Zimmer Professor of Reconstructive Surgery (in Pediatrics)
- Lenin Grajo, PhD, EdM, OTR/L, Associate Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Occupational Therapy) at CUIMC, Director, Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy Programs
- Maya Hastie, MD, EdD, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at the Columbia University Medical Center, Vice Chair for Education PD, Adult CT Anesthesia Fellowship
- Sarita Martinez, Director, Curricular Affairs
- Diana Perez, M2, BALSO (Black and Latino Student Organization) Representative
- Tonya Richards, SHRM-CP, PHR, CHHR, CDP, IDI-QA, CUIMC Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
- Devon Rupley, MD, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at CUIMC
- Catherine Tarleton, M4 Student, Equity & Justice Fellow
*Dr. Monica Lypson, Vice Dean for Education, CUIMC, Rolf H. Scholdager Professor of Medicine at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center will serve as an ex-officio member of the ARC.
VP&S Equity and Justice Fellowship
The mission of the VP&S Equity and Justice Fellowship is to increase equity and justice through curricular programming. Each year, the fellowship class works with Dr. Hetty Cunningham (Director of Equity and Justice in Curricular Affairs) on a variety of projects determined by the fellowship group, critically applying an anti-racist lens to the VP&S curriculum.
CUIMC Task Force for Addressing Structural Racism
The deans of the four Columbia University Irving Medical Center schools appointed a task force in July 2020 to review ways to reduce the impact of racism in health care and the health sciences.
The task force of more than 100 individuals was led by co-chairs Drs. Rafael A. Lantigua, Anne L. Taylor, and Olajide A. Williams. CUIMC leadership will announce measures to implement the action items that are outlined in the report.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion News at CUIMC
Read about how the CUIMC community is joining together to address systemic racism and create a diverse and inclusive environment.
Anti-Racism Resources at CUIMC
Learn about what resources are available to support and empower the CUIMC community.
Anti-Racist Pedagogy in Action: First Steps
Learn how the Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is helping instructors incorporate an anti-racist pedagogy into their personal teaching practice.
Columbia’s Commitment to Anti-Racism
A message from Lee Bollinger, President, Columbia University, outlining the effort Columbia is making to challenge racial and social injustice.