Feb. 01, 2022
This February, the ABS commemorates and celebrates Black History Month by raising awareness of issues on race, inclusion, and belonging; celebrating the contributions of the Black community; and creating a platform for Black voices to be heard.
"Here at the ABS, we understand that it's important to not just celebrate the achievements of Black Americans, but also to acknowledge the many injustices that they have suffered in their fight for equality," said ABS President and CEO Dr. Jo Buyske. "By remembering our nation's troubled past, we can strive towards a more equal, just and inclusive society."
ABS will kick off its month-long celebration with a private "Diverse Voices Speaker Series," featuring influential speakers who will discuss various aspects of the Black experience including social justice reform, harmful stereotypes and narratives, black LGBTQIA+ intersectional identities, and ways to reduce health disparities and advance health equity.
The speaker series is designed to bring a deeper understanding to the nuances and complexities of the Black experience through unique and authentic viewpoints. By holding space for meaningful (and oftentimes uncomfortable) conversations, we hope to start changing perspectives and behaviors so that we can become more culturally competent, emotionally intelligent, and empathetic individuals. Note: This speaker series is comprised of closed, internal events. We hope to provide similar programming publicly to our diplomates in the future.
We will also highlight several of our surgeon leaders, diplomates, fellows, and residents who identify as Black in our "Surgeon Stories" initiative. In these videos, the surgeons featured will share their unique experiences, the obstacles they overcame on their medical journeys, what it means for them to be the "only one" or "one of few," and the impact they have had on their patients and the communities they serve. Check out the ABS Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts throughout the month for these insightful and moving stories.
In addition, we are teaming up with BarNone Games to host a competitive (but fun!) virtual trivia event for the ABS staff, focused on Black history and pop culture. Beyond that, we will continue to host our monthly DEI Club and encourage staff members to reflect upon and celebrate Black history. Finally, we have put together a list of educational resources for staff, which includes recommendations and suggestions on ways to support the Black community such as volunteer opportunities and local Black businesses to patronize.
"Although we should always be cognizant of the contributions made by Black Americans, February presents a unique opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations about racial intolerance and acceptance, which can lead to a more inclusive and productive workplace where everyone feels seen, heard, valued, and empowered to succeed," said Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Ada Okafor.