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Channel Your Grief Into Action

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Monday, September 26, 2016
SNMA Family,

It pains me to have to address you concerning such tragedies yet again. Many of you are aware of several recent shootings of black males by law enforcement officials that have been in the news. Our hearts go out to their families and our minds have stayed on the consequences that each of these deaths have for our local communities, nation and world at large. Statistics consistently show that Black people and other people of color are disproportionately killed by law enforcement officials. This loss of lifeinevitably becomes a mental health issue for loved ones and the affected communities left to relive this trauma time and time again.

In my last statement on this issue, I assured you that the Board of Directors are working diligently to make sure that we are both present and professional when addressing these types of issues that deeply affect both the communities that we serve and for many of us, the communities from which we come.While we cannot stop the pain, grief and anger that some feel, there are some actionable and productive steps that we have taken. Following board approval at our National Leadership Institute this weekend, we will be able to provide the Mobilize and Activate Advocacy Manual. As a part of my executive agenda, a committee was formed and a manual was created to guide you in your advocacy efforts.This manual includes an explanation of a policy created for how our organization responds to these types of events, a policy for you to gain approval to use the SNMA name during advocacy programming, and an outline of safe and professional practices for activism as a student physician.This will also include all of our position statements for your review.

Our Month of Service next month has been dedicated to violence prevention.Along with chapter community service projects, we will be having town hall meetings across the country to open the dialogue between physicians, medical students, and community members as to how violence directly impacts our communities. Further we are hosting four (4) national webinars, the first being The Effects of Violence on Mental Health given by one of our founding members, Dr. Gilbert Parks on our Founders’ Day. More information will be released soon.

The SNMA Statement on Gun Violence and Statement on Policy Brutality can be found on the this website. Our hearts and our prayers are with all who have been touched by these acts of violence. As we take the time to mourn the loss of beloved lives gone too soon, channel your grief into action that promotes discussion and seeks prevention of such events. Please look for ways that you can get involved and stay informed in the coming days.

Stay Safe SNMA,

Christen Johnson
National President, 2016-2017
Student National Medical Association

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