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Reaffirming our values for social justice, dignity and respect

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Interim vice president for VCU Health Sciences and CEO of VCU Health System Peter Buckley shared the following message on May 31, 2020:

Dear friends and colleagues,

As we attempt to process the current spate of horrific killings in Louisville, Kentucky, Brunswick, Georgia, and most recently in Minneapolis, Minnesota, we are tormented by the senseless nature of these human tragedies. Reflecting upon Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, we can’t help but absorb the raw reality that these are fellow members of our collective humanity who are victims of senseless acts of violence and injustice. Our shared anguish is visible in our own community through the protests this weekend. No one is immune to what is taking place across our nation, and it affects every one of us.

During this time of shared anguish, we must reaffirm our values — specifically, the primacy of human dignity and respect. Moreover, we are individually and collectively responsible for addressing racism in all its forms.

We are grateful to all our team members as every day you commit to caring for all who pass through our doors with dignity, compassion and the best that health care has to offer. As care providers, educators, mentors and learners, we should understand the cause and effect of these events and their impact on the lives of those in our community and our nation. We must be vigilant in our pursuit of knowledge so that we may find solutions to inequities in health care and society as a whole. Above all, we must ensure that every member of our VCU Health community is respected and valued for who they are and for the qualities they bring to our patient care and academic endeavors every day.

Our workplace must be a place of dignity, professionalism, mutual respect and inclusivity. Given these recent events, we are all understandably hurting and upset. If you need support, please reach out to other team members, trusted colleagues and community leaders.

Even though the global pandemic requires social distancing and limits to in-person contact, we can still be ever close in solidarity and spirit. I urge each of you to observe a moment of personal reflection as we reaffirm our collective commitment to social justice, dignity for all lives and respect for one another.

Be well and be safe.