Over the past few weeks there have been a number of incidents throughout the country that have highlighted the racism and racial bias that is still prevalent in our society. Whether the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, the shooting death of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, or the racist attack against Christian Cooper in New York, so many of us are experiencing collective trauma; this is particularly true for Black people. These incidents have surfaced during the coronavirus pandemic, which has already put a spotlight on systemic health disparities in communities of color, uneven enforcement of social distancing executive orders, and growing anti-Asian bias.

We are writing to remind you that we are a strong community, and while many of us are performing our work remotely, we can continue to be here to support each other, particularly our colleagues of color who may feel unsafe. It is also our responsibility as members of a university community to become allies and change agents. We want to take this opportunity to highlight what you can do to get involved with the work happening on our campus related to inclusion and justice.

Select Division Resources:

  •  The Inclusion Menu: Programs focused on bringing attention to and limiting the effects of implicit bias, microaggressions, and privilege.
  •  Nourishment Through Narrative: Online community building platform.
  •  UChicago Medicine’s Urban Health Initiative (includes volunteer opportunities and cultural competency training).
  •  New- Office of Diversity & Inclusion virtual reading group (topics include, but are not limited to, the intersection of race, medicine, and science). If interested please contact Tobias Spears at tspears1@bsd.uchicago.edu

Select Campus Resources:

  •  University Civic Engagement: Opportunities to collaborate with community partners to create mutually beneficial relationships that blend reflexivity, cultural humility, and community capacity building.
  •  Pozen Family Center for Human Rights: Supports innovative interdisciplinary teaching and research initiatives that critically explore the theory and practice of global human rights.
  •  Center for the Study of Race, Politics, Culture: Presents research and cultural programming that interrogates the intersectional impact of race and ethnicity on our lives and institutions.
  •  University wide initiatives and programs coordinated through the Office of Vice Provost Melissa Gilliam, MD.
  • University Resource Groups: Faculty and staff led groups that focus on highlighting commonalities and building on our shared interests.
  • If you have other ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Even in these extremely difficult times, we still have the power to act, both individually and collectively, to fight for justice and equality. The BSD Office of Diversity & Inclusion is here to support you in those efforts.


Iris Romero, MD
Dean for Diversity & Inclusion

Hannah Lawrence
Assistant Dean for Faculty Advancement and Diversity

Tobias Spears
Director of Diversity Initiatives

Beatrix McBride
Program Administrator

Office of Diversity & Inclusion
Biological Sciences Division
University of Chicago