Announcements Resources

Statement Regarding Events on Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Dear Students,

On Wednesday, we saw an event of domestic terrorism unfold that likely shook many of us to our core. It was meant to thread fear into the fabric of our nation and to shutter a democratic process foundational to the transition of leadership. As a country and as a community, we cannot and will not support this nor the underlying beliefs that fueled these actions.

The beauty of our country is rooted in the ability to disagree, to have civil discourse around those disagreements, and even to demonstrate when injustice occurs. What occurred was, instead, an aggression aimed at reifying white supremacy, and at Washington University School of Medicine, we are very clear that this is an affront to our values and purpose.

As you process through the events of this week and, perhaps, nervously anticipate what is ahead, we’d offer that this experience is likely feeling hard to navigate for a myriad of reasons. Objectively, an attack on the Capitol Building is terrifying, regardless of politics. It may also feel painful for some as they think about and juxtapose this incident and surrounding rhetoric to the national response to those who participated in the protests of racism over the summer months. These events and emotions both exemplify the divisiveness of our nation and defy politics. If ever there was a time to lean into community, it is now.

What we have as strengths within WUSM are values of learning, seeking truth, and a strong community striving for excellence. We have grown in our understanding of and accountability to those most affected by injustice. We are called to use our strengths to create a better society. Considering these events and the multiple instances of systematic and systemic racism that have occurred over the last several years, we cannot be silent. We cannot feign ignorance nor distance ourselves from the issues at hand. We must actively engage in productive dialogue and create sustainable efforts to move ourselves and our communities toward equity.

If you are finding yourself struggling to process, please reach out to the resources available to you. Please use whatever means you can to continue to be your best self because here at WUSM, this journey we’re embarking upon requires everyone.

Eva Aagaard, MD
Professor of Medicine
Senior Associate Dean for Education

Thomas M. De Fer, MD
Professor of Medicine
Associate Dean for Medical Education

Lisa Moscoso, MD, PhD
Professor of Pediatrics
Associate Dean for Student Affairs

Kaytlin Reedy-Rogier, MSW
Co-Lead, Community Engagement
Instructor, Division of General Medicine

Audrey Coolman, MPH
Co-Lead, Community Engagement
Office of Education