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Tufts University School of Medicine

The Quest for Justice: Shifting Power

Monday, September 14, 2020 - 10:00am

As the world reckons with racism, one truth is painfully clear: Dismantling it will require more than rhetoric. It will take sustained effort.

The Quest for Justice” is a series in which Tufts professors and alumni describe some of the actions they would like to see to create a more fair and equitable future.

Derrick Young Jr.: Foster a More Diverse Tufts​

Derrick Young Jr., MG17 (MPH), is a member of the Tufts Alumni Council and executive director of the Leadership Brainery, a nonprofit that equips diverse and first-generation college students for entry into competitive graduate schools and leadership positions.

Before there is justice, there must be hope. Systemic racism prevails because, for many, change seems impossible. We have lost hope in the greater good. However, I have hope in our capacity and will to act.

At Tufts, our vision is “to be an innovative university of creative scholars across a broad range of schools who have a profound impact on one another and the world.” To fulfill that vision, we must first acknowledge the current injustices around us.

We cannot ignore that our community includes far too few individuals of color, particularly African Americans. Historically this has deprived communities of our extraordinary education and network that could enable them to have a profound impact on one another and the world.

We must hold ourselves responsible for overturning barriers that limit education access for underserved and underrepresented communities. The hurdles are challenging, but we must have hope that our university of leaders and creative scholars can foster equitable solutions.

We must have hope that we can recruit and retain racially diverse administrators, faculty, staff, and students. We must have hope that we can develop curriculums enriched with varied and responsible perspectives. We must have hope that we can identify resources to uplift vulnerable communities.

Tufts can help build a more just future, if we maintain hope and turn it into action.

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