Health professionals from the Keck School, including Dean Laura Mosqueda, MD, joined the White Coats for Black Lives vigil at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles on Monday night.
The observance was aimed at both protesting police brutality and honoring the memory of George Floyd and other people of color who have died unjustly.
Members of the medical community from around Los Angeles County took part. Speakers delivered remarks, and attendees marked 8 minutes, 46 seconds of silence — the length of time a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck, until he lost consciousness and died May 25. The killing sparked outrage, protests, and calls for reform that have now stretched into a fourth week.
The event was organized by ophthalmology resident Diana Lee, MD, and others who are part of DOCS4POC, Doctors for People of Color; and CIR, the Committee of Interns and Residents. Tamara Chambers, MD, from Otolaryngology also spoke.
Yasmin Rawlins MD, an African American psychiatry resident, said in a release: “For the Black community, COVID-19 is a matter of life and death. But so is brutality and systemic racism.”
Lee, a Chinese American, added: “Racism is a public health crisis that disproportionately impacts our Black community, and their Asian American colleagues commiserate in solidarity especially in the face of a racially charged COVID pandemic.”
Here are a few photos from the event, courtesy of Dr. Diana Lee of Ophthalmology: