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News & Press: News

We Hear You

Thursday, June 11, 2020  
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AWS Members, 

The past few days have been a tough time for all of us, not improved by the insensitivity of the AWS statement that was sent out on June 1 regarding racism and police brutality. I apologize for our initial post. We created a new post that hopefully better conveys our thoughts and intentions.

I am profoundly saddened by the events over the past week; the deaths of George Floyd and others, and the police brutality. I want to also apologize for any further distress our AWS statement may have caused you as a member and representative of our society or as an individual. I am truly sorry. Over the past few days, I have done a huge amount of listening. I have learned an incredible amount and have become more committed to making change and improving, as an individual and an organization.  
 
While our society was criticized for our words, we will be judged by our actions. In the upcoming months, we will be spending time discussing how we move forward to make real change, both within and outside of our Association. We invite you to reach out to me to share your ideas, thoughts, your anger, your criticism, and your hopes. We promise to listen, we promise to try to find solutions, and we promise to do better. 

Sincerely,

Sharon L. Stein, MD FACS FASCRS
President, Association of Women Surgeons
Sharon.stein@uhhospitals.org

AWS Official Statement on Racism and Violence

We hear you, and we thank you for your feedback. The Association of Women Surgeons is outraged at the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the countless unknown victims of police brutality. We stand firmly with our Black/African American colleagues against systemic racism, societal inequities, and discrimination, which continue to plague our country. We apologize that our initial message did not convey this sentiment clearly. Part of moving forward is admitting our mistakes and taking actions to correct them when we falter. But make no mistake, we stand united with you…we support you…and we are committed to affecting change. We will advocate for and support initiatives to increase the number of Black/African Americans in surgery and in surgical leadership positions including our own organization; we will advocate for and support policies to decrease inequities within our healthcare system; and we will continue promoting and supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is a call to action for all of us. The time is now. #Sayhisname #Icantbreathe