Diversity, Inclusion & Social Justice
Name: Krys E. Foster, MD, MPH, FAAFP
Position: Director, DCFM Diversity, Inclusion & Social Justice
Organization: Department of Family & Community Medicine

Our Work

New Restroom Signage

Gender buttons for faculty & staff

Creating a Welcoming Environment

Racism in Healthcare - Ubuntu Photo Project on Microaggressions

“Ubuntu” is a Nguni Bantu philosophy that, loosely translated, means humanity.  It can also be translated as “A person is a person only through other persons” or “I am because we are.”   

It is with the Ubuntu spirit that we are excited to announce a photography project with the goal of giving a space for our staff, residents, and faculty to share racial microaggressions they have experienced in the workplace and to further challenge us to think about how we can collectively stand up for social justice by responding in solidarity with our colleagues.

As a department of Family and Community Medicine, it is not enough to be diverse and inclusive.  We must strive to be anti-racist. We see this photo project as an opportunity to acknowledge that no space is free from the pandemic of racism but that we all have the opportunity to begin to dismantle it in any way we can.  What better way to act than to do so in support of our co-workers and to mentor this example of antiracism to learners in our department. 

Although our intent for this activity is to raise awareness, learn from one another, and to model empowerment, we also recognize that recounting microaggressions or remembering the pain of witnessing harm to others can be very upsetting. We invite all members of our department and the broader Jefferson community personally experiencing microaggressions to share as much as you feel comfortable, and remember you can opt to do so anonymously if you choose.

We launched COVID Stories out of solidarity for the members of the Jefferson community who were facing the pandemic—to give them a place to share their struggles, their triumphs, their feelings, their stories.

COVID Stories stands in solidarity with the black community and communities of color who have faced hate, inequality, injustice, and racism for centuries. We offer our support and hope to provide a place where the Jefferson community can collectively process its feelings and reflections.

– Dr. Danielle Snyderman, Department of Family and Community Medicine & Denine Crittendon, MPH, College of Population Health

The series of the three photos  (bottom left) shows the evolution of the allied response and gives space to how challenging this work is. Even with time, and collective brainstorming, we noted a microaggression within the allied response (second photo) and thought the third photo was a stronger allied statement. This work is hard. There is no "right" way but may we all lean into the discomfort and normalize the challenge in talking about racism. Silence is not an option. Let's continue the conversation and strive in our actions to be allies with the Ubuntu spirit (I am because we are).