Loyola University > Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health > About > Social Justice and Anti-Racism
Social Justice and Anti-Racism
More information available from Dean Morrato:
April 21, 2021
Dear Parkinson Family,
We are reaching out to you directly, as a unified senior leadership team in support of President Rooney’s message.
We know that our students, faculty, staff, family, and friends have been, and continue to be, affected by the painful events over the past year: the murders of Adam Toledo, Daunte Wright, George Floyd and so many others; the senseless acts of violence and murder against members of our Asian American and Pacific Islander community; and the mass shootings in Colorado, Indiana, and Wisconsin, are urgent reminders of the need to address racism, gun violence, and systemic injustice as a nation, a society, and a community.
Living in a society that permits and even condones hate, violence, inequity and injustice takes an enormous toll, particularly for people of color and our Black, Brown, and Asian American/Pacific Islanders, and Native American community members. There has been and will be much for each of us to process. Allow yourself the time and space you need.
If current events have been especially tough, you are not alone. We are here for you – with open minds and open hearts – not only in times like these – but any day. President Rooney’s message provides links to mental health support resources if/as you need.
Racism is a public health issue. The Parkinson mission calls us to improve health equity through innovation, evidence-based research, collaboration, and advocacy. We will learn, teach, research, and study -- as we continue to walk together peacefully, and compassionately, supporting each other at every step.
We must have the courage to engage in difficult dialogues with dignity and respect. We are committed to move beyond words to action to create permanent change – to create an inclusive school and a more equitable and civil society in partnership with the communities we serve.
Elaine Morrato, Dean
Kathy Bobay, Health Informatics and Data Science Department Interim Chair
Joanne Kouba, Applied Health Sciences Department Chair
Amy Luke, Public Health Sciences Department Chair
MaryMargaret Sharp-Pucci, Healthcare Administration Department Chair
Samantha Dumm, Director of Administration
Lucia Garcia, Director of Student Affairs
Cynthia Stewart, Director of Experiential Learning
Merly Thomas, Center for Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship Administrator
Lorna Finnegan, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing
Sam J. Marzo, MD, Dean and Chief Diversity Officer,
Stritch School of Medicine
Elaine H. Morrato, DrPH MPH, Founding Dean and Professor,
Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health
Loyola University Chicago
November 4, 2020
As the Deans of the Schools of Nursing, Medicine, and Health Sciences and Public Health, we recognize racial injustice and the associated health disparities it causes as a public health crisis. In short, racism is a public health issue.
We teach, research, lead, and advocate in solidarity with our respective national associations (American Association of Colleges of Nursing; the American Association of Medical Colleges and the American Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health) that have recognized the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in health care and related fields.
Each of us is working within our individual school communities – students, faculty, and staff – to develop curricula and cultures that are more reflective of this country’s changing demographics and the world beyond. Our mission as a Jesuit Catholic university calls us to do nothing less.
As Dr. Rooney and Provost Grzywacz noted in their September 25 email to the Loyola Community, the University’s commitment to these issues will be channeled through its Anti-Racism Initiative, which “touches all aspects of [Loyola’s] mission. The Initiative includes student and faculty recruitment and retention, the campus experience, pedagogy, and curriculum. The Anti-Racism Initiative also encompasses investments in interdisciplinary research and community engagement to bring new insights and hopes for solutions to deep-seated inequities.”
We are invested in Dr. Rooney’s and Provost Grzywacz’s approach and commitment. We invite every member of the Health Sciences Community to contribute to the critical conversations and the important work we must pursue to create more just and equitable educational institutions and health systems.
Our university and schools have a proven record of educating for justice on behalf of people who are marginalized and disenfranchised. But the current moment demands us to do better in both acknowledging the particularly insidious history and presence of racism in the United States and working to remedy its disastrous and ongoing ramifications to human health and well-being.