Medical Physics Commitment to Diversity

Jun 18, 2020
By Committee on Medical Physics

The Graduate Program in Medical Physics at the University of Chicago mourns and condemns another murder of a Black person at the hands of the police. The unjust deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery were the tipping point that demonstrate the urgent need for societal changes after years of innocent Black lives lost, followed by failures to bring offending officers and racist vigilantes to justice. Rather than believing generations of Black people's accounts of mistreatment and injustice throughout the history of our country, it has regrettably taken recent graphic video evidence of police brutality and white supremacy to finally instigate protests in all 50 states and major cities around the world demanding justice.

We would like to acknowledge the shortcomings of our own program to more actively engage and make conscientious choices to create a diverse and inclusive environment. As part of a long-term plan, we will promote this commitment within our program and STEM fields. Specifically, we will:

  1. Initiate a quarterly student/faculty book club through which we will engage honest discussions on social and racialjustice.
  2. Increase our partnerships with local public schools in Chicago to open research and mentorshipopportunities.
  3. Enhance participation in inclusivity training for students andfaculty.
  4. Review our admissions process to ensure that a holistic evaluation of applicant potential is considered.

We recognize this is not the solution but rather first steps toward improving our program. We also understand that these efforts will not have an immediate payoff but will require years of work.

Diversity, inclusion, and commitment to equity is essential for a strong scientific community with representation from underrepresented groups in our field. We aim to improve the research at our institution by reaffirming the commitment of our program to diversity and inclusivity. We sincerely hope that these actions by our program will contribute to the dismantling of systemic racism in our community.

While our corner of the world is primarily dedicated to the support and accomplishments of our graduate program, we feel that if we do not state these uncomfortable truths then we are part of the problem. With that, we hope for continuous improvement in all aspects of our lives and society.