ASME Celebrates Black History Month
Engaging with history is often a way to better understand our present circumstances and an opportunity to re-imagine what possibilities lie ahead. At ASME we envision a future where diversity in medicine and healthcare is thriving and to better understand how we can achieve this, we gathered perspectives from Black African and Caribbean healthcare professionals and academics, both nationally and internationally to provide their thoughts on how we can attract more diversity in medical education.
Click on the button below to read their valuable contributions which will be shared on ASME’s social media platforms throughout the month of October. If you are on Twitter (@asmeofficial), join us in using the hashtag #ASMEBHM in sharing your perspectives. In creating these booklets, our collaborating artists have used the analogy of the ‘domino effect’ to capture the knock-on, trailblazing impact these individuals have made in creating a more diverse and inclusive healthcare environment.
ASME was delighted to collaborate with Melanin Medics; a growing charitable organisation for present and future African and Caribbean doctors in creating the resources above. From the Melanin Medics podcast to upcoming events, Olamide Dada, the founder of the organisation shares more information below about the impactful work of this charity and how to get involved.
The importance of mentors and physically seeing Black academics represented in medical and healthcare education was a recurring theme shared by our contributors. The African Caribbean Medical Mentors (ACMM) is another innovative charity with the active intention to improve the representation of Black academics in medicine and dentistry.
Founded in 2017 by Monique Wheatle and Shikila Edward, a member of their organisation; Charles Carey has provided a guest contribution piece to raise awareness of this charity’s mission. More information can be found on their website; https://www.acmedicalmentors.co.uk/ or through their social media platforms (@acmedicalmentor).
Wiley Special Virtual Issue
The richness of experiences and perspectives from Black African and Caribbean communities can often get lost in catch-all acronyms such as BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) or BME (Black, Minority Ethnic). The term BAME was impossible to ignore during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, as new feeds and social media platforms were inundated with reports highlighting that BAME individuals were dying at disproportionate rates. Later reports showed that mortality rates from COVID-19 were even more pronounced for those in the Black communities.
However, these experiences were subsumed and diluted within the broad racial category of BAME. The ASME Journals, Medical Education and The Clinical Teacher have created a special virtual issue titled ‘Remembering the ‘ME’ in BAME’ to showcase a selection of the latest research and scholarship exploring the use of the term BAME and its associated concepts such as race and ethnicity. Furthermore, in honour of Black History Month, it presents a collection of papers examining the distinct experiences of Black individuals in healthcare.
Our aim in this virtual issue is to encourage meaningful conversations about race and ethnicity; recognising the diversity within these communities and raising awareness to the criticisms the term BAME has received from the very people it seeks to describe. It hopes to follow current debates stemming from COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement in considering a more thoughtful approach to how language about and for diverse communities is used in the future.
Understanding Race & Ethnicity
Black History Month continues to highlight the importance of having meaningful conversations about race and encourages curiosity into learning about the effects of racism and how to challenge negative stereotypes.
Esther Adeyemi, a Black African, fifth year medical student at Queen Mary University of London created the poignant poem titled ‘Let’s talk about Race’ to illustrate her experiences about having conversations on this topic. Take a moment to read and reflect on this personal account and ask yourself how you can facilitate more meaningful conversations about race at your institution.
The ASME resource on understanding race and ethnicity signposts to a collection of useful resources to help you in maturing these conversations.
Listen to the TASME TiME podcast episode on Decolonising Medical Education with Lara Akinnawonu and Dr Yvonne Mbaki.
When we can use our history to make better our future, we have the power to inspire future generations. We hope the compilation of resources in this piece has inspired you to learn more about Black History and encouraged you to have meaningful conversations about race. Join ASME in celebrating Black History Month this October.
As part of ASME’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion strategy we actively aim to start and continue meaningful conversations about diversity issues in medicine and healthcare. Throughout the year we will be exploring how we can celebrate and support individuals from culturally diverse, under-represented and marginalised backgrounds. If you would like to find out more information about ASME’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion strategy, please contact us on email@example.com