The National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement (NIMAA) stands with the black community in this time of national reckoning and response to the racism that caused the death of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many others. Our hearts reach out especially to the black community in each of the states where NIMAA’s diverse students reside, and where our clinical partners strive to address health disparities and reject injustice. We stand in solidarity with those taking action and making their voices heard against structural and institutionalized racism. We understand that the recent protests are about police brutality as well as the deep injustice that exists in so many aspects of our society.
The experience of institutionalized racism is not new for many NIMAA students, their communities, and their families. NIMAA recognizes that this time in history calls for a renewed and stronger response – including from our organization. NIMAA’s core objective is to create the access to education and opportunity historically denied so many in our society. Education is powerful, yet it is just the first step. We are reminded of James Baldwin’s message to teachers in October of 1963:
The paradox of education is precisely this – that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.
NIMAA commits to taking specific, sincere steps to heighten our consciousness and become a better ally to black, indigenous and people of color communities. These include: having frank, intentional discussions among staff regarding our own biases and privilege; conducting and acting on an organizational assessment of NIMAA’s internal practices and policies that keep us from being an effective anti-racist organization; and ensuring that learning regarding the power dynamics of race and ethnicity, especially as they relate to health and healthcare, is robust in our curriculum.
We stand in solidarity with the many other voices being raised at this time. We will continue to listen and to act so that we can be an effective ally and protagonist in the work toward a just and anti-racist future.