JOHNSON CITY (June 11, 2020) – ETSU Health will host “White Coats for Black Lives,” a solidarity march and demonstration against racial injustice, on Monday, June 15.
Organizers hope that the march will promote conversations about racism as a public health concern and encourage health care professionals and students to lead the way for social change. All supporters are welcome and encouraged to participate.
The event was planned by the ETSU Student National Medical Association, the Gold Humanism Honor Society and the Organization of Student Representatives at Quillen College of Medicine.
“Health care students across the country are sharing their voice against racial injustice, and here in East Tennessee we are proud and excited to stand up together with our professors and mentors,” said Quillen College of Medicine student Lawrence S. Parawan III, who helped organize the event.
The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. on the campus of East Tennessee State University at the parking lot adjacent to Stout Drive and ETSU’s Parking Services (Student Lot 8). Participants will have the opportunity to make signs at the starting location.
At 6 p.m., Dr. Bill Block, ETSU’s vice president for clinical affairs and dean of Quillen College of Medicine, will address the crowd. Participants will then make their way along University Parkway to State of Franklin Road, where they will conclude at the ETSU Welcome Center at Jack Vest Drive. There, they will kneel in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time Officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on the neck of George Floyd.
Several community leaders will be in attendance.
Those who have white coats or scrubs are encouraged to wear them. Organizers also request that all participants wear face masks and observe social distancing throughout the event.
“It is important for the lives of our community and the nation that the college and university lead the way for social change, which is long overdue,” said Block. “While this is a small gesture, it is the beginning of an effort as learners, teachers and healers to refocus and eliminate the inequities that result in decreased health outcomes for many.”
More information is available here.