Chair’s Statement: We Are All Thinking of You

Feb 6, 2017
Dr. Gillian Hawker

Before launching into my monthly column, I feel the need to express my sadness about the horrific events that have clouded the world in which we live and work. This includes Trump’s ban on entry to the U.S. of people from seven predominantly Muslim countries and a young pro-right Quebec man who killed six Muslim men, and seriously injured several more, at a local mosque in Quebec City. From our educational leaders, I hear our residents are frightened – many of them are from these ‘banned’ countries or have families there. They are Muslims. As academics, we travel frequently – it is expected that we meet at conferences and workshops to share our knowledge and advance our fields. I wonder how these current events will shape our future. Will our Muslim trainees and faculty be welcome at U.S. conferences? How will this affect resident recruitment and the well-being of those who are already here? While I am somewhat heartened by the push-back against the ban by Trump that is occurring as I write, I want to confirm, once again, that I am thinking of those of you who have been most directly affected by these world events – we are all thinking of you. I want you to know that we do not share these views or opinions. Our academic community values – believes in – diversity. We are richer as a whole when we embrace a culture of inclusiveness. We will stand behind you. And if any one of you – Muslim or not – feels unsupported, please let us know. We will not tolerate prejudice – unconscious or otherwise.

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