Dear Duke University School of Medicine community,
I hope you read President Price’s statement yesterday evening on COVID-based bias incidents and the importance of inclusion. The School of Medicine stands behind this strong message of support.
During this current crisis, communications and media reports intended to keep us informed about COVID-19 around the globe can inadvertently spread misinformation that drives social stigma, bias, discrimination, and fear in our communities.
As members of the Duke community, we are each responsible for supporting one another and actively taking steps to mitigate and address bias, stigma, or discrimination, particularly that which may be targeted toward individuals of Asian or Asian American descent, those working closely with affected patients, and those who have recently traveled and are being asked to self-isolate. As such, we should correct or disengage from misinformation, appropriately respond to biased behavior, and support one another.
Although we are engaging in distancing as a measure to reduce the spread of the virus, this is a time for all of us to unite in our values, words, and actions in support of one another and our patients.
During this period of remote learning and working, we encourage all members of the SoM to continue to uphold our standards of compassion and respect and work towards building a safe, supportive and inclusive climate for all members of our community, particularly during these anxious times. Our Office of Diversity & Inclusion is gathering best practice tools and resources to assist in understanding and addressing diversity, equity and inclusion relevant to the COVID-19 crisis.
Dean Mary E. Klotman
Duke University School of Medicine