Racial Justice Action Committee Resources

It's Up to All of Us

In response to the murder of George Floyd and to ensure that Black lives matter inside and outside the walls of Rush University System for Health, the Racial Justice Action Committee (RJAC) was launched on the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth in 2020.

View the RJAC members here

RJAC deepens the racial justice and health equity work that Rush has been doing in the community for years by identifying new ways that we can all work together to advance social and racial justice along with health equity inside of Rush — and beyond. In short, it invites us all to explore, learn and identify ways we all can be the change

Watch the video below to learn more about the Racial Justice Action Committee and the co-chairs. 

 

The recommendations that came out of town halls, listening sessions and a systemwide survey will allow Rush to create C.H.A.N.G.E. using the following means:

  • Communicate: Create a unified Rush DE&I statement that addresses racial justice and Rush's response.
  • Hire and employ: Establish clear targets and timelines for increasing Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) in leadership roles systemwide (e.g., CEO, SVP, VP, AVP, directors and managers, faculty appointments academic leadership and Board)
  • Align: Conduct a systemwide review of all Rush policies that govern employment, compensation, culture and consequences as it pertains to racialized impacts from said policies.
  • Navigate: Create a system of people, policies and resources (e.g., departments, funding, legal assistants, etc.) to navigate patients, students, employees and others on campus to social work/mental health interventions as needed instead of security/policing interventions 
  • Generate: Collect and incorporate restorative justice practices and principles into our internal departments' existing conflict management and team-building trainings and processes. 
  • Educate: Create a process for ensuring that current DE&I/HR trainings and HR are racial-equity aligned and inclusive and develop new trainings on anti-racism, unconscious biases, cultural competence, allyship and racial justice as needed. 

View the full Racial Justice Action Committee recommendations here.

Watch the Racial Justice Action Committee Town Hall  about the recommendations here

 

 

Let's Work Together to Be the Change

The 'Why' Behind the Work

Systemic racism has claimed the lives of Black people for years. It can be hard to fathom just how extensive a toll this has been. This timeline of Black lives lost dates back to 2014 with the death of Laquan McDonald here in Chicago and ends with 2020. And the deaths continue.

Being able to see the number of lives lost helps to underscore the impact of systemic racism and why it's critically important that we all work together to dismantle it and actively become anti-racist. It's up to all of us to work individually to be the change so that collectively we can build a more equitable world for everyone where we are all able to live healthy, full lives.

We are all in this together. 

Be Anti-Racist (A Resource List)

Racist ideas are woven into the fabric of our society. It's in our media, our social systems, our culture and our institutions. And because it's so normalized, it feeds our implicit bias, which in turn feeds racism, particularly the structural kind. And though we may acknowledge implicit bias exists, that's not enough.

To dismantle racism you must be anti-racist vs. non-racist. Anti-racism means you actively stand up against racism while non-racism is when you watch racist things happen and do or say nothing to address them. This gap in understanding between the two concepts must be bridged, and we have to learn about our past to make progress as change agents and move forward toward a better future.

An important part of being a change agent is finding ways to educate yourself about the history of racism and how to take active steps to be anti-racist. Here is a list of resources to help:

The goal of this framework is to move people toward deepening their knowledge and ultimately changing their behavior. The list includes many​​ different types of useful resources from books and podcasts to videos and movies for all age levels.

Although the list is not exhaustive, it is fairly comprehensive and provides a blueprint to help you become much more attuned to your implicit bias, understand allyship, begin to have difficult conversations around the topic of racial injustice and develop actions you can take as an anti-racist.

Donate, Participate, Innovate

Taking the time to educate ourselves about anti-racism and social justice and then sharing that knowledge with others is just one way that our Racial Justice Action Committee recommends that you can act as a change agent. Some other ways to begin engaging in the work right now include the following:

Print, Post, Share

Using our voices is just one small way that we all can serve as change agents. Individual voices that come together in unison have power. Join us in encouraging everyone to find ways every day that we can all "Be the change." We're in this together.

Please download, print, post and share.

Black lives matter printout

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Black lives matter printout with explanatory statement

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Black lives matter printout

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Black lives matter printout

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Calendar of Events

January

January 28
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Implicit Bias & Microaggressions in Medicine: A Fireside Chat with Carl Lambert, MD
The America Academy of Sleep Medicine’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee presents a free-for-members webinar, a fireside chat and video scenarios featuring Dr. Carl Lambert, family medicine at Rush University Medical Center and moderator J. Mori Johnson, AMA ambassador.1 Hour Session – CME and CEC credit  available. To register visit this link.

February

February 19 (In-person)
7:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Rush Employee Volunteer Program Event

Location: Mount Pilgrim MB Church
4301 W. Washington
Chicago, IL

Presented by the Office of Community Health Equity & Engagement
Need: 12 volunteers for food distribution in the community
To sign up to participate, visit: bit.ly/COVID19Volunteering

February 26 (virtual)
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Dr. Adolph Brown's "Verbal Medicine to Heal Our Soul" event

Sponsored by the Racial Justice Action Committee, join us for a show-stopping virtual event with motivational speaker Dr. Adolph Brown, who, using over 30 years of experience as a tenured educator, academic administrator, servant leader business owner, educational and clinical psychologist, professional speaker and trainer, will educate, inspire, and entertain you with humor and a wealth of information. He describes his life before becoming a clinical psychologist, university professor and research-scientist as one of humiliating racism, prejudice and discrimination. Through his struggles to come to terms with his own personal experiences, Brown delivers the most relevant, real and respected messages of human dignity, empathy and respect for all. 

February (Date TBD) virtual
Empathy Circles Launch Event 

Presented by the Racial Justice Action Committee, the concept of empathy circles is introduced and demonstrated with our own Rush employees as a way to build empathy and belonging. We will provide a virtual spaces for people to share their stories on racial encounters/challenges and other race-related issues of concern. This will be open to people of all races, gender identities, ages, etc. Facilitator guides will be made available so that areas across Rush can create their own Empathy Circles and begin the practice of empathizing. 

March

March 19 (in-person)
7:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Rush Employee Volunteer Program Event
Location:
Mount Pilgrim MB Church
4301 W. Washington
Chicago, IL

Presented by the Office of Community Health Equity & Engagement
Need: 12 volunteers for food distribution in the community
To sign up to participate, visit: bit.ly/COVID19Volunteering

March (date TBD)
Virtual Town Hall: “So You Want to Talk About Anti-Racism”
 
Presented by the Racial Justice Action Committee, this town hall will serve as a training that will walk through how to facilitate these conversations within your departments. Facilitator guide made available after the event. 

March (date TBD)
Virtual Town Hall: Caste by Isabel Wilkerson facilitated book discussion
 
Presented by the Racial Justice Action Committee, this virtual discussion will dive into Wilkerson’s work and includes discussion guided that allow people across Rush to facilitate their own smaller discussions within their departments/teams. 

April

April (date TBD)
Virtual Town Hall: “Let Me Tell You My Story”
 
Presented by the Racial Justice Action Committee, perspectives on race and its intersections will be shared from Rush leadership as they discuss their own stories and challenges with discrimination. 

May

May (date TBD)
Virtual Town Hall: “We Hear You” 

Presented by the Racial Justice Action Committee, Nancee Hofheimer, manager of workplace investigations discusses the process and systems in place to address workplace complaints and how they’re investigated.