June 5, 2020

To My University Medical Community:

Earlier this week, I sent a letter to address the situations that confronts us: both the global epidemic as well as the tragic murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other Black men and women in our communities.

In that letter, I made reference to the fact that “all lives matter” and have since heard from many of you that were deeply offended by that phrase.

First, let me apologize for my choice of words and for using that phrase in particular. It was never my intention to erase or diminish the value of Black lives. Let me state unequivocally that Black lives matter. As health care professionals, we must continue to deliver unbiased and high-quality care to all who need it – especially members of the Black community – some of whom, because of structural inequalities, have limited access to proper care and treatment. It is clearly better for me to have stated that, rather than to use the phrase. Again, I am deeply sorry for my choice of words. It was never my intention to negate the tenets of the Black Lives Matter movement or diminish the importance of the momentum that we have gained in our fight against injustice and racism. 

As President Frederick stated last week: “No pandemic, no declining economy, no period of prosperity, and no cure for every medical ailment will undo or hide the realities of the Black experience. We must bring consistency to that struggle and focus our intellect and passion daily to prepare for the hard work that must be done to confront evil and systematic oppression.” 

I again apologize for my poor choice of words, and reiterate that I stand with and behind our Howard Community at all times.

In Truth and Service,

Hugh E. Mighty, MD, MBA, FACOG

Dean, College of Medicine, and Vice President of Clinical Affairs

Howard Newsroom Staff

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