Dear SVVMA members,
The United States, and the rest of the world, has been disturbed, as well as awaken, by the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others at the hands of some members of law enforcement. This tragic and unnecessary loss of life have triggered protests across the globe, and it is obvious that there is much that needs to change. In response to these events, we are filled with grief, frustration, and even anger. These deaths highlight continued human rights violations against black Americans and deep-seated racism that has been present since the first slave was brought to the American colonies over 400 years ago.
As veterinarians, we take an oath to use our scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the promotion of public health. We do not take this responsibility lightly. Racism is a public health issue, contributing to disparities in quality of healthcare, education, and economic opportunity between the diverse populations we serve. We cannot tolerate it any longer. It’s time to peacefully create a new normal.
During this time, we on the SVVMA board reflect on our responsibility as healthcare professionals to fight this crisis. It is our professional duty as healthcare providers and our moral obligation as human beings to fight systemic racism however we can. Black lives matter.
Based on the AVMA Policy on Diversity and Inclusion, our “goal is to mirror the growing diversity of the communities we serve and to promote an understanding of their varied needs.” To say the least, our profession has failed to meet that goal, as we remain one of the least diverse professions in the country. To this end, we are committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in our membership and the profession by developing additional programs that will be announced in the near future. We hope our members will join us in this endeavor to improve the profession by participating in these new activities.
We as veterinarians can no longer remain silent.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” - Desmond Tutu
-SVVMA Executive Board
Petition to alter AVMA statement to describe specific actions it will take towards fighting racism: https://www.change.org/p/american-veterinary-medical-association-the-american-veterinary-medical-association-stands-in-solidarity-with-black-lives-matter?original_footer_petition_id=17117758&algorithm=promoted&source_location=petition_footer&grid_position=2&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uAA2mVwEAAAAAXtVS%2FIEsF%2B83ODJmZGE4ZQ%3D%3D
Statement by Dean Lairmore of UC Davis
Statement by Chancellor Gary S. May
AVMA statement on Diversity and Inclusion
AVMA task force on Diversity
Professor Hakan Özçelik from California State University, Sacramento has graciously offered insights into coping with isolation in this pandemic. The CBA Organizational Wisdom Studio at CSUS has produced a video-cast episode which can be viewed through the link provided. Hakan Özçelik is a Professor of Management in the College of Business Administration at CSUS and he welcomes public comments.
"Coping with Isolation During a Pandemic"
"Preventing Loneliness in Isolation"
"Regulate Emotions in this Pandemic"
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