ASDA D1 Response to Racial Injustices

Dear ASDA Members,

We want to reach out as fellow students to acknowledge the wrongful death of George Floyd last week. We also want to acknowledge the wrongful deaths of so many other Black Americans, including Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and more. In addition to these senseless killings and acts of police brutality, there are also many injustices against Black people everyday, such as last week when a White woman called the police on a Black man, Christian Cooper, who was birdwatching in Central Park. The Black community faces police brutality, senseless killings, and everyday injustices. 

Witnessing (and facing) these injustices is very painful and upsetting. At the end of this letter we’ve listed dental-school specific resources in the hopes it will help cope with race-related stress. 

We also want to acknowledge that Black people face inequalities on a systemic level including healthcare. According to a 2015 article written by former ADA president Maxine Feinberg, 42% of Black adults and 36% of Hispanic adults have untreated dental disease, as compared to the 22% of White adults. We can and must do better.

ASDA stands in solidarity with the Black community and with all students against injustice. Acknowledging racial inequality is only a single step in the right direction. We also want to work towards improvement. Both National ASDA and individual ASDA chapters are exploring ways to combat racial inequities in dental education and dental practice. If you have specific suggestions about how ASDA can do better or want to get involved in your school’s ASDA advocacy committee, please reach out! There are many ways to act against police brutality and racial injustice, including educating yourself on the issues, voting, donating, protesting, signing petitions, and having tough conversations with friends and family members. 

As President of the American Dental Association, Dr. Chad P. Gehani stated, “the healing of our communities is in our hands.” We recognize the work ahead will be challenging and will continue to work diligently with your guidance. 

Sincerely 

Alia Osseiran MPH, ASDA D1 Trustee, DMD Candidate – Tufts  
Rachel Harris, D1 Advocacy Chair, DMD Candidate – Harvard        
D1 Advocacy Team: Lauren Branscomb, Michael Chen, Rah-Taja Doggett
Mark Pugliese, D1 VP Member Benefits, DMD Candidate – BU 

                                                                                                        

Resources for everyone:

School-specific resources:

BU:

Harvard:

Tufts:

  • Talk with a Talk One2One counselor by calling (1800) 756-3124
  • Tufts community can use our tool to register to vote and to sign up to receive text and email alerts about upcoming elections
  • Apply for funding to specifically support projects that address racial disparities 
  • Racial Justice Resources for Action 
  • Webpage for the Tufts Office of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Schedule a session to talk with Sharon Snaggs, Student Wellness Advisor at TUSM/TUSDM
  • Webpage for Wellness at Tufts
  • Virtual Drop In Meditation with Dr. Christina Dibona Pastan; Thursdays at 12:30p
  • Virtual Restorative Yoga with Dr. Christina Dibona Pastan; Tuesdays at 4:30p

UConn:

  • ​Reach out to UConn Student Behavioral Health for free and confidential service for students. Please email Jessica Meyer for an appointment
  • “Midday Meditation” hosted by the UConn Department of Psychiatry daily from 12:15pm to 12:30pm – Webex call at 1.415.655.0002 (Access Code: 611 045 371) and mute your audio to participate
  • Virtual Group Exercises hosted by the Wellness Center, which includes Yoga and other Meditative/Breathing Exercises 

UNE: 

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