Protesters from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences kneel in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the time that George Floyd was held on the ground before he died.

UB Academic Health Center Community Is United Against Racism and Racial Injustice

Published June 5, 2020

As a community of students, educators, scientists, staff members and healthcare providers committed to improving human health by all measures, we are outraged by the brutal death of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man, in Minneapolis last week. We share the tremendous pain, grief and anger in our community.

We recognize that this is only the most recent such tragic event. We acknowledge the anger, fear and decimation of hope that such events create for people of color in our community, in our United States, as well as the grief and dismay being felt by many others in our nation.

We support the calls to action by our professional organizations and others to address the impact of structural racism throughout society as a step to redress this far reaching societal and public health crisis.

These horrendous actions require us to recognize and speak out against racism, to nurture empathy, inclusion, diversity, equity and awareness. We are committed to working together to continue building a community that embraces these values and fosters inclusive excellence. As we heal, we must advocate for change and move forward toward that goal with strength and determination.

Individually, we must address these issues within the context of our own roles and circumstances and engage in action to create the healthy, equitable and inclusive community we desire. We ask that you practice compassion and empathy for our friends, colleagues, patients and community members who have been disproportionately impacted by these events.

We hope you will join discussions in each of our schools about these issues. Let us come together to support our community through these difficult times.

Michael Cain, MD
Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Marsha L. Lewis, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean and Professor
The School of Nursing
James M. O’Donnell, PhD
Dean and Professor
School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Jean Wactawski-Wende, PhD
Dean and SUNY Distinguished Professor
School of Public Health and Health Professions
Nancy J. Smyth, PhD
Dean and Professor
School of Social Work
Joseph J. Zambon, DDS, PhD
Dean, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor
School of Dental Medicine
Patricia J. Ohtake, PT, PhD
Assistant Vice President for Interprofessional Education