Over 300 doctors, students, administrators, and staff gathered at Sterling Hall of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, at 1 p.m. on Friday, June 5 to take part in a nationwide demonstration of White Coats for Black Lives (WC4BL). Organized by Tanya Murtha, MD, MPH; Molly Markowitz, MD; Amanda Calhoun, MD, MPH; and Marietta Vazquez, MD, and sponsored by the Yale Pediatrics Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the event was intended both to support WC4BL’s mission to dismantle racism in medicine and to emphasize Yale School of Medicine’s commitment to address institutional racism.
Calhoun, the keynote speaker, shared her observations and personal experiences as a Black student and physician. “Long before I was a doctor, I was a Black person in America, and this white coat does not protect me,” she said. At the close of the demonstration participants knelt and observed a moment of silence. Many of the attendees left the event to hand out surgical masks at another, far larger protest that assembled at New Haven Green an hour later.