News : 2020 : July

A Statement from the Department Chair on the Current State of our Nation

In the past few months, the climate of our nation has changed drastically. We have witnessed the results of years of pain our fellow citizens have endured, as they speak out. Through demonstrations across the country, we have heard cries for justice and demands for reform, all in the name of equality for our African American community; equality that should have become commonplace long ago.

As a psychiatrist, one of my primary duties is to listen. Successfully treating patients with mental, behavioral or emotional problems requires careful listening to their struggles and symptoms, and applying what I know as a medical professional to help them live their lives fully and well. As human beings, we share a similar responsibility to listen to one another; and equally as important is thoughtfully replying. Words carry weight, and the wrong ones can have a damaging effect on one’s spirit, soul, and psyche. The right words, however, can evoke powerful change and alter the course of a situation – or even a life – for the better.

The University of Miami, and our Department, bear a deep commitment to our DIRECCT core values: Diversity, Integrity, Responsibility, Excellence, Compassion, Creativity and Teamwork, and we are always striving to uphold these and do better. I am immensely proud to work at an institution that values inclusivity and acceptance.

Collectively, we have much more work to do together to achieve our common goals. Listening is a skill we all must use as we endeavor to improve. Vow to remain educated and engaged. I am humbled by the support you have shown our Department, and believe humankind will emerge from these difficult times stronger, smarter and braver than ever before.

Let us continue to listen and learn from one another.