Columbus, OH,
22:36 PM

Race Relations in the United States: Where Are We, and Where Are We Going?

Race Roundtable

The death of George Floyd in Minnesota certainly got the attention of everyone around the country. It opened eyes to an issue that might be new to some, but certainly isn't new to others. African-American leaders at organizations like OhioHealth say that issues like racism and violence towards black people has been around for a long time.

"We saw the George Floyd video, but what happened isn't new to most black people," Qiana Williams, OhioHealth vice president, and chief Diversity and Inclusion officer said.

"Will Smith said it best, the only difference is, it is being recorded," B.J. Hicks, MD, OhioHealth vascular neurologist said.

The death of Floyd led to protests and a movement all across the country. It led to chants of "Black Lives Matter," where people of all backgrounds came together to demand action, to demand that racism no longer be tolerated in this country.

"These things are finally getting the collective conscience of this country to wake up. This is a systemic, engrained part of our country. And until we look at this objectively, and understand this was built by design, we will never fix it," Dr. Hicks said.

What this movement is doing, is showing everyone that inclusion is the only way this country is going to make it and move forward, together.

"Part of the way you dismantle privileges is you make sure in everything you do, you are not disappearing black people, and other people of color from conversations," Williams said.

It also means this is not just about words, but about action.

"At OhioHealth, we put tons of resources on our Intranet, we have had listening sessions, we have been doing trainings, access those, and don't necessarily rely on your black friends, or black colleagues to educate you on 400 years of racism," Williams said.

The hope is this movement goes far beyond what you see on the street. That we take a closer look at other aspects, including those of health disparities amongst those who have for decades found themselves without proper access to care.

"We have an opportunity to better educate the rest of our workforce on being culturally competent, and providing a level of care across the spectrum to make everyone feel they belong," Williams said.

"Just like leaning into the latest advancements, in stroke care, we have to lean into cultural competency in healthcare," Dr. Hicks said