Black History Month celebrates the achievements and contributions to society of our black brothers and sisters. Founded incrementally, first as a week, in 1925, then expanded to a month in 1976, President Gerald Ford said the purpose of the month was to: “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
In other words, society shouldn’t merely “accept” black people as being there (ie. stopping being racist isn’t enough), society should embrace and celebrate the unique gifts and contributions that are bettering the world for all. Inclusion means more than just not being racist. Inclusion means recognizing how important and special a role each person plays in this beautiful, diverse world we live in. Inclusion, today, also means acknowledging society’s harmful past and present, including slavery, systemic racism, dangerous medical testing on black people (most times without consent), exclusion from diagnostic criteria, lack of medical access, and current lack of medical fairness or equity. It means advocating to eradicate the modern day medical inequities with the hope that as understanding increases we can combat systemic racism and make it a thing of the past.
How can black history awareness month help with that?
Information and familiarity reduce hatred and bigotry. Accomplishments deserve to be lauded; and black people’s contributions, big and small, to society are often overlooked due to prejudice, so Black history month elevates their voices for all to see!
MSU wants to be part of the solution!
MSU began the process of building a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee in July 2020. We are seeking volunteers of all backgrounds to run the committee, and are committed to having it be a driving voice to make sure our policies and actions are representative of all myositis patients. If you are interested in volunteering for the committee, please visit Understandingmyositis.org/volunteerTags: advocacy DEI