THE IMPACTS OF RACISM
AND BIAS ON
PURSUING CAREERS IN SCIENCE,
ENGINEERING, AND MEDICINE
PROCEEDINGS OF A WORKSHOP
Cato T. Laurencin, Editor
Cedric M. Bright and Camara P. Jones, Rapporteurs
Roundtable on Black Men and Black Women
in Science, Engineering, and Medicine
Policy and Global Affairs
Health and Medicine Division
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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This activity was supported by contracts between the National Academy of Sciences and the Aetna Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.
International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-67954-1
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-67954-0
Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/25849
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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. The Impacts of Racism and Bias on Black People Pursuing Careers in Science, Engineering, and Medicine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25849.
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RACISM AND BIAS ACTION GROUP PLANNING COMMITTEE
CEDRIC BRIGHT (Co-chair), East Carolina University
CAMARA P. JONES (Co-chair), Morehouse School of Medicine
ANDRE L. CHURCHWELL, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
CLYDE W. YANCY (NAM), Northwestern University
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ROUNDTABLE ON BLACK MEN AND BLACK WOMEN IN SCIENCE, ENGINEERING, AND MEDICINE
CATO T. LAURENCIN (NAE/NAM)(Chair), University of Connecticut Health Center
OLUJIMI AJIJOLA, UCLA Medical Center
GILDA A. BARABINO (NAE), The City College of New York
CHARLES R. BRIDGES, JR., Janssen Research & Development, LLC
CEDRIC BRIGHT, East Carolina University
L.D. BRITT (NAM), Eastern Virginia Medical School
ANDRE L. CHURCHWELL, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
THEODORE CORBIN, Drexel University
GEORGE Q. DALEY (NAM), Harvard Medical School
WAYNE FREDERICK, Howard University
PAULA T. HAMMOND (NAS/NAE/NAM), Massachusetts Institute of Technology
EVELYNN M. HAMMONDS (NAM), Harvard University
LYNNE M. HOLDEN, Montefiore Medical Center
CAMARA P. JONES, Morehouse School of Medicine
CORA BAGLEY MARRETT, University of Wisconsin-Madison
VALERIE MONTGOMERY RICE (NAM), Morehouse School of Medicine
RANDALL C. MORGAN, JR., W. Montague Cobb/National Medical Association
ELIZABETH O. OFILI (NAM), Morehouse School of Medicine
VIVIAN W. PINN (NAM), Senior Scientist Emerita, FIC, National Institutes of Health (Retired)
JOAN Y. REEDE (NAM), Harvard Medical School
LOUIS W. SULLIVAN (NAM), Morehouse School of Medicine
CLYDE W. YANCY (NAM), Northwestern University
MARK ALEXANDER (Ex Officio Member), 100 Black Men of America, Inc.
KIMBERLY BRYANT (Ex Officio Member), Black Girls CODE
GARTH N. GRAHAM (Ex Officio Member), Aetna Foundation
IAN HENRY (Ex Officio Member), Procter and Gamble Company
ORLANDO KIRTON (Ex Officio Member), Society of Black Academic Surgeons
JOHN R. LUMPKIN (NAM)(Ex Officio Member), Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation
SHIRLEY MALCOM (Ex Officio Member), American Association for the Advancement of Science
ALFRED MAYS (Ex Officio Member), Burroughs Wellcome Fund
LAMONT R. TERRELL (Ex Officio Member), GlaxoSmithKline
HANNAH VALANTINE (Ex Officio Member), Stanford University
REGINALD HAYES, Program Officer, Board on Higher Education and Workforce
TOM ARRISON, Program Director, Policy and Global Affairs
PAULA W. WHITACRE, Consultant Writer
It is an honor for me to serve as chair of the National Academies Roundtable on Black Men and Black Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine, as well as serve as the editor of the first in a series of proceedings publications from the Roundtable. Our work began in 2015 when leaders of the W. Montague Cobb/National Medical Association Health Institute and I recognized the growing absence of Black men in medical schools. In fact, levels of Black men entering medical school reached an historic low in the 2015 and 2016 years. Starting in 2016, and with financial support from important partners such as the Aetna Foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Connecticut Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus, we began planning a National Academies workshop on issues surrounding the absence of Black men in medicine. The joint workshop entitled “The Growing Absence of Black Men in Medicine and Science” took place in 2017. It was historic, in that to my knowledge it was the first National Academies activity specifically focused on issues involving Black people. The proceedings is entitled An American Crisis: The Growing Absence of Black Men in Medicine and Science. It was released in May of 2018, and corresponded to a briefing on the subject of Black men and medicine with the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, DC. Many of the ideas that emerged from the workshop have been embraced by academia, industry, and philanthropy. More needs to be done.
Our next steps have involved the development of a more permanent presence in the National Academies to discuss issues surrounding Black men and Black women in science, engineering, and medicine. With support from our partners above, along with the Johnson and Johnson Company, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the University of Pittsburgh—and with the continued leadership and commitment from Dr. Victor Dzau—president of the National Academy of Medicine, the Roundtable on Black Men and Black Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine was launched late in 2018 as a joint activity of Policy and Global Affairs and the Health and Medicine Division. I am grateful to the steering committee members for the Roundtable: Drs. L.D. Britt, Cedric M. Bright, George Q. Daley, Randall C. Morgan Jr., Elizabeth Ofili, Vivian Pinn, and Louis Sullivan.
Our first formal meeting of the Roundtable took place in December 2019. It was decided that our first workshop should examine issues around racism and bias. Pernicious and pervasive, racism and bias in many ways serves as a backdrop to issues surrounding Black men and women in science, engineering, and medicine. I am grateful to the co-chairs of the workshop, Dr. Cedric Bright and Dr. Camara Jones. They expressly volunteered to take on our first Roundtable workshop, just 4 months after our first meeting and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020. The workshop was held a month before the death of George Floyd. The ideas and concepts emerging from the workshop are especially important in these times.
Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. (NAM/NAE)
University Professor, The University of Connecticut
Chair, Roundtable on Black Men and Black Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine
This Proceedings of a Workshop was prepared by the workshop editor and rapporteurs as a factual summary of what was presented and discussed at the workshop. The planning committee’s role was limited to planning and convening the workshop. The statements made are those of the editor and rapporteurs and do not necessarily represent positions of the workshop participants as a whole, the planning committee, or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. We wish to extend sincere thanks to all the members of the planning committee for their contributions in scoping, developing, and carrying out this project.
This proceedings has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments to assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and ensure the document meets institutional standards for quality and objectivity. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this proceedings: Andre Churchwell, Vanderbilt University; Theodore Corbin, Drexel University; Samuel Mukasa, University of Minnesota; and Daryl Chubin, Independent Consultant. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the proceedings, nor did they see the final draft before its release.
The review of this proceedings was overseen by Maxine Hayes, University of Washington (retired). Appointed by the National Academies, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this proceedings was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this proceedings rests entirely with the rapporteurs and the institution.
Cedric M. Bright and Camara P. Jones
Co-chairs, Racism and Bias Action Group Planning Committee