FAQs – Mount Sinai Task Force on Racism
What is the Anti-Racism Task Force at Mount Sinai and why was it created?
In the wake of the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Jacob Blake and, most recently, Daunte Wright, among others, and the subsequent growth in awareness of and support for the Black Lives Matter movement, we wanted to take an honest assessment what we are doing, how we are doing it and where we stand as individuals, as a society, and within our institutions.
The Task Force was convened in June 2020 by Mount Sinai President and CEO Kenneth L. Davis, MD, and Dennis S. Icahn School of Medicine Dean Charney, MD, and chaired by Gary Butts, MD, Executive Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Its charge was to develop a Road Map to include a series of recommendations on how to become a better and more effective anti-racist organization.
The overarching goal is to become an anti-racist and equitable health care and learning institution that intentionally addresses all forms of racism and creates greater diversity, inclusion, and equity for our workforce and for those we serve. But the work of the Task Force is neither a beginning nor an end. Rather, it’s simply a next step in a decades-long movement to recognize hard truths and a continued push to right existential wrongs in our communities and in our system.
Who was involved in creating the Task Force?
The Task Force was comprised of 51 members of the Mount Sinai community who come from different backgrounds and work in varying occupations and educational roles across the system. This diverse group of Mount Sinai leaders, staff, students, trainees, faculty, and Trustees have demonstrated a commitment to equity, diversity, and anti-racism and represent the interests of the clinical and academic constituencies and the Boards of Trustees. Over the past nine months, these members of our Mount Sinai community volunteered their time and passion to a process of social change called Collective Impact.
What is the mission of the Task Force?
Dr. Davis and Dr. Charney created the Mount Sinai Health System Task Force to Address Racism on June 17, 2020. The Task Force was led by Dr. Butts and charged: to evaluate, investigate, and engage in meaningful and sustained action and dialogue; and report back to leadership with specific recommendations that move the system forward to ensure a more fair, just, anti-racist, and equitable community for its staff, patients, and students.
The overarching goal is to become an anti-racist and equitable health care and learning institution that intentionally addresses all forms of racism and create greater diversity, inclusion, and equity for our workforce and for those we serve.
Why do we need the Task Force and why now?
This past year brought a renewed focus and an increased sense of urgency to recognize and address racial inequality. The events of the past year have shaken the consciousness of our country. Unfortunately, these events and their causes are not new and reflect a larger truth: discrimination has deep underpinnings in structural and systemic racism. These root causes must be addressed head-on.
In May 2020, staff across MSHS united in solidarity against racism in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. It was a pivotal moment for our Mount Sinai community, a time of shared pain and anguish, but also of promise and hope as we came together to recommit ourselves against racism and the many injustices it spawns.
Where can we find more information about the Task Force?
In the coming weeks and months, we are planning a series of events starting with an all-system Town Hall on May 19th, where we will present the Task Force’s Road Map, including the recommendations to the larger Mount Sinai family. Following that Town Hall we will have other site-specific town halls, dialogues, and other events in order to reach everyone who wears the Mount Sinai badge.
In the meantime, background and updates can be found at: https://www.mountsinai.org/about/mshs-task-force
How do I get involved or provide feedback to the Task Force and leadership?
It is part of everyone’s job to be engaged and involved in this work. If you are interested in being a part of a specific area or just want to explore ways to get involved, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you wish to report a racially biased incident, please scan the QR-code to submit a report or call the confidential Mount Sinai Helpline at 1-800-853-9212.