In June 2020, the world of health and racial politics fused into what is now a rapidly growing movement to impose ideas of “diversity” and “racial equity” in the profession of medicine. In the midst of a global pandemic, the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020 set of a series of violent protests and riots worldwide. In a flurry of virtue signaling, multiple institutions set about promoting reforms and policies aimed at installing “racial equity” and identity politics into the worlds of business, culture, and government at multiple levels. In higher education, a domain long-guided by ideas derived from Marxist critical theories about race, gender, environmental “justice,” and an overall “Woke” worldview, the protest movement catalyzed a deeper push to implement diversity policies in schools and colleges. Medical schools were no exception to the trend, as groups of medical students such as White Coats for Black Lives (WCBL) became more aggressive with their university administrations to implement more racialized policies and “anti-racist” trainings in their existing diversity programs. This report describes aspects of the development and growth of racial policies (also known as “critical race theory,” or CRT programs) at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine (UCSDSoM), and in its health-related programs in psychiatry and at the undergraduate level, from social justice surge of 2020 to the present.
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