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2,400-Member American Association for Anatomy Decries Racism

June 1, 2020

ROCKVILLE, MD—Without equivocation, the Board of Directors of the American Association for Anatomy roundly decries individual and systemic racism and calls for an end to violence that further risks life, health, and livelihood.

Some may question this 132-year-old organization’s place in speaking out on this issue.

Anatomy is at the foundation of the medical community, and therefore our community – from coast to coast. As anatomists, we have a unique understanding of the human form. We teach future generations of doctors and healthcare providers, helping to shape their ideas about the humanity that connects us all.

The historic wrongs inflicted upon Blacks, Native Americans, Hispanics, and other minorities have consequences today in social, economic, educational, and health disparities, laid plain by the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on communities of color.

As allies, and as a professional society representing more than 2,400 scientists, we are firmly committed to welcoming, developing, and maintaining scientists and educators in a culture that embraces individuals with diverse life experiences. This includes engaging and nurturing a broad representation of individuals who value science and education, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, mental or physical ability, age, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation. In pursuit of advancing the anatomical sciences, we promote the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We will not tolerate bias, prejudice, disrespect, or inequity.

Yet, we cannot stand only for our members. We must also stand for those who have been marginalized historically and whose marginalization has been made so much worse during this pandemic. We must stand with those from disadvantaged, underrepresented, and minority backgrounds. We must continue to work for a fairer, more inclusive, and more equitable future for all pursuing careers in science. We must stand for those who should no longer have to stand alone.

Racism threatens our humanity and our health.

Racism threatens our way of life.

Racism threatens the very lives of those we teach – our students; those we treat – our patients; those we know and care for – our colleagues and neighbors; and those whose names we must not forget – George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others who preceded them.

No one should be disadvantaged – or die – just for being Black.

We are appalled by racist events that expose the worst of humanity. We, the American Association for Anatomy, stand up against racism. We stand up with those upon whom it inflicts so much pain. We stand up to envision, create, and support the society and the future in which all are treated with the dignity that every body deserves.

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