Members of the School of Medicine community,
A grand jury decision regarding the death of Michael Brown is expected this month. Regardless of the outcome, we have an opportunity to move forward together as we strive to make our workplace, our learning environment and our health-care facilities places where people from all backgrounds and walks of life feel welcome and accepted.
While none of us knows what the grand jury will do, the decision is likely to cause a range of emotions among faculty, staff, students and patients, as many different perspectives have been expressed regarding this tragedy. In the coming weeks, we’re likely to hear many more opinions about the case. It is my hope that we will listen respectfully to each other and that any differences of opinion will deepen our empathy and understanding.
On a personal note, if the grand jury’s decision or the events surrounding the case cause you stress, Washington University provides an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for all benefits-eligible employees and their dependents. LifeScope EAP is available 24/7 at 800-765-9124 for faculty and staff and their family members to speak confidentially with trained counselors.
Students should seek help through Student Health Services, at 314-362-3523, or by talking with faculty or student support services within your program.
Looking ahead, let’s acknowledge that we have important work to do here at the School of Medicine and in the St. Louis community to ensure that all people have access to a future of promising possibilities. As part of that, I encourage you to participate in “Perspectives,” a forum that allows us to have an ongoing conversation about issues related to diversity and inclusion on the Medical Campus and in St. Louis. A link to the schedule is above.
Every day, I am thankful for the wonderful community of people here, whose dedication, energy and compassion make this institution an extraordinary place to work and learn. Together, we will move forward.
Larry J. Shapiro, M.D.
Executive Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs and Dean