#WhiteCoats4BlackLives: Medical Students Protest Police Brutality

#WhiteCoats4BlackLives: Medical Students Protest Police Brutality

Students and medical professionals from more than 70 campuses participated in a social media initiative protesting the exoneration of the officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Published December 11, 2014

Medical students and health care workers recently launched a social media campaign titled #WhiteCoats4BlackLives, adding their voices to the growing public outcry against racial profiling and police brutality.

The Huffington Post reports that since Wednesday, hundreds of medical students wearing white coats held “die-ins” and other protests on more than 70 campuses. Images circulating the web show protesters holding signs with the slogans adopted by those calling for justice in the deaths of unarmed African-Americans Michael Brown and Eric Garner, respectively: “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and “We Can’t Breathe.”

In addition to drawing the participation of health professionals, the social media initiative also reportedly received the backing of Students for a National Health Program, an affiliate of the 19,000-plus organization Physicians for a National Health (PNHP).

“We as medical students feel that this is an important time for medical institutions to respond to violence and race-related trauma that affect our communities and the patients we serve,” a statement on PNHP’s website reads.

“We feel it is essential to begin a conversation about our role in addressing the explicit and implicit discrimination and racism in our communities and reflect on the systemic biases embedded in our medical education curricula, clinical learning environments, and administrative decision-making.”

Similar student-led protests have occurred at high school and college campuses across the country since the announcements of grand juries’ declining to indict white cops in the fatal shootings of unarmed Black teenagers and men.

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(photo: Matt Ruscigno via Twitter)

Written by Patrice Peck

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