ACG: Racism, bigotry, discrimination of any form cannot be tolerated, ignored
I am proud to lead a professional society, the American College of Gastroenterology, that will not stay silent when such horrific acts of hatred and discrimination occur.
On May 30th, as protests around the nation were occurring in response to the heinous and traumatizing events in Minneapolis, the ACG Officers and Board of Trustees unanimously recognized the importance of calling out injustices and vowing as a community to be a beacon of compassion, equity and tolerance.
In a message to our membership of more than 15,000 clinicians in gastroenterology in the United States and around the world, our Board expressed our deepest concerns and our highest aspirations:
“We want to acknowledge the wide range of emotions experienced by members of the ACG community in the wake of the recent horrific events that have occurred in Minneapolis. Sadly, this has been a recurrent theme in our society may have now reached a tipping point. We are all deeply concerned and outraged by these heinous acts of hatred and discrimination.
As clinicians, we understand that our humanity is defined by how we treat others. Caring for people who are vulnerable is the core of our profession and supporting each other with kindness and understanding while promoting inclusion and equity is who we are.
This is why we must not remain silent. Racism, bigotry or discrimination of any form cannot be tolerated and when it occurs, should not be ignored.
The ACG and its members vow to speak out against injustices and be a positive voice that demonstrates diversity, equity, inclusion, respect and the value of human life regardless of race, religion, gender and country of origin. As a community of healers, we must continue to work together to make the medical profession a beacon of caring, compassion and tolerance.”
ACG is committed to diversity in the gastroenterology profession through efforts such as our #DiversityinGI campaign, but when faced with the current challenges facing our nation, the leadership of the American College of Gastroenterology acted quickly on its belief that there is an urgent need to take a stand.
I could not be more honored to lead an organization that uses its voice in the health care arena to state in no uncertain terms that, “Racism, bigotry or discrimination of any form cannot be tolerated and when it occurs, should not be ignored.”
Editor's Note: After the publishing of this statement, all four GI societies - ACG, AGA, ASGE and AASLD - released a joint statement.
“We realize, as a profession, that we need to better understand the effects of structural racism on health inequities. With this in mind, we pledge to continue to advocate for diversity in our staff and governance, grant awards to research health care disparities, ensure quality care for all and work tirelessly to reduce inequalities in health care delivery and access,” the statement reads.