College of
Human
Medicine

We See You. We Hear You.

In the wake of George Floyd's death, the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) began the See Us campaign, "...to give imagery behind the fact that racism is a public health issue in the United States."

Racism is a public health problem that impacts our medical students and the patients that they will serve. We are training future physicians to provide humanistic care for the patients negatively impacted by health disparities and injustice.

In response to the See Us campaign, College of Human Medicine leadership, faculty and staff gathered together to share an important message. 

We see you. We hear you. We stand with you.


Aron Sousa, MD

Interim Dean
I see you and I see the manifest racism in our country. I have benefited from white male privilege all my life. I pledge to listen, learn, and work to end this injustice.


Jennifer Edwards-Johnson, DO, MPH
Community Assistant Dean, Flint Campus
"Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have”- James Baldwin
"I am here, always”


Valerie Overholt, DO
Community Assistant Dean, Southeast Michigan Campus
I see you. I hear you. I truly care about you and am grateful for all you bring to medicine. Your voices are so crucially important in addressing the racial injustice on which this country was built. I commit to adding my voice to yours.


Wanda Lipscomb, PhD

Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion Associate Dean for Student Affairs
I see you as a reflection in the mirror. I am a black woman who lives in the reality of an unjust society. I will not allow the burden of racism to define me. I am strong, determined, focused, committed, and dedicated to being a change agent. I value the lessons that I learn from our students at the college. I not only see you – I stand with you. Together we will continue to confront the injustice that leads to health disparities. In the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “No person has the right to rain on your dreams.” Let us walk together as dreamers creating a better place in which you can exhale and excel.


Judy Brady, PhD
Assistant Dean for Student Wellness and Engagement
I stand with CHM Black students, staff, faculty, their families and loved ones in demanding social justice and working to end health disparities based on the color of one’s skin!


Joel Maurer, MD
Assistant Dean for Admissions
This privileged, gay, white male sees you. I proactively stand by your side in unity and support.

 
Lisa Lowery, MD
Assistant Dean for Diversity and Cultural Initiatives


Randi N. Stanulis, PhD

Assistant Dean for Professional Development
I see you, I hear you, and I value each one of you. I cry for you and for all of us, for what continues to be allowed to happen in judgment of skin color. You are not alone to make change happen. I and so many others stand beside you to cry out that this is enough. That people of color should not walk in fear. That black men and women, boys and girls in America are each unique and yet the same as every other who deserve freedom and privilege in America. Black lives matter. All of us need to shout that from the mountain tops until we ALL are heard and stand together.


Jerry Kooiman 
Assistant Dean and Chief External Relations Officer
I see you. I may not be able to feel your pain, but I know you are hurting. I may not be able to feel your anger, but I know you are angry because of racism and injustice. I may not understand racial injustice the way you do, but I support your fight for justice. May we as a medical school, as a community, as a state and as a nation find the ways and the willingness to work together toward creating a just society. A community that learns to treat all people with respect and dignity and embraces diversity and inclusion. And God open my eyes and ears.


Julie Phillips, MD, MPH
Assistant Dean for Student Career and Professional Development
Students, colleagues, and friends, I see you and I am so impressed by you. I will always support you in every way that I can. I personally commit to working to end racial injustice.


Michael Brown, MD

Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine


Jed Magen, DO, MS

Chair, Department of Psychiatry
Paraphrasing Al Gore, “This is a choice between what is right and what is wrong.” We need to make the right choice because it is for the future of our children and succeeding generations.


Andrea Wendling, MD
Director of Rural Medicine Curriculum
I see you. I want to do what I can to be better, to make this better, for all of us. I want to be an ally, and will listen to you so that I can do that well. I will stand with you.


Eric Achtyes, MD
Director of the Division of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine


Renuka Gera, MD
Division Chief, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology; Professor
I am with you.


Jonathan Gold, MD
Director of the Academy, Dewey Learning Society Chief

Although I can never understand what it feels like to be a black person in America, it pains me to think of the burden that our black students, faculty and staff face every day but especially now. Medical school is hard enough! We need to support each other, care for each other, have each other's back. Please know that I will do everything I can to ensure that here at CHM we promote a spirit of unity and mutual regard that reflects our values.


Kathleen Assiff, MA

Director of Student Programs, Flint Campus
From my heart to yours...I strive to be both ally and accomplice!!


Elizabeth Guerrero Lyons, EdD
 
Director of Minority Student Recruitment  
I stand in solidarity to honor the lives of George Floyd, Breona Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all Black lives that were lost due to racial injustice. #BlackLivesMatter #LatinxforBlackLives. "Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it.” -Michelle Obama 


Sarah McVoy
Director of Student Programs, Lansing Campus
I grew up with loving, compassionate parents, on the shores of Lake Michigan. Life was grand. Life was fun. As a privileged white girl, I knew nothing about nothing of the hurt and pain and discrimination going on in the world. I still will never truly understand it, but I have a tiny, tiny little taste of this disgusting hatred, as the grandmother of a black grandson.

The first time: My tiny baby boy, couldn’t even sit up yet in a shopping cart, so his grandpa and I propped him up and went about our business. As people began to whisper and point, being so naive, I stood taller in pride, as I was sure they were admiring him and what a gorgeous baby he was. It slowly dawned on me, that was not what they were whispering and pointing about, and my heart sank. 

Our boy is 12 years old now. He has had white teachers tell us he has ADD, ADHD, is Autistic…maybe Asperger’s. “I think he is retarded.” (Unsure where they actually received their medical degree). Took him for neuropsych evals and doctor visits. The answer was always the same, “He’s perfectly fine and quite intelligent, actually.” He has enjoyed finishing his school year this year, online, which relieved much of his social anxiety. Right before COVID hit, our timid, shy, respectful, considerate, loving, compassionate boy was brave enough to ask for help and his teacher told him, “I can’t help you.”

My grandson on Halloween at his school, dressed in his police man costume…..

I SEE YOU. I HEAR YOU.


Jennifer Johnson, PhD
C.S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health
I see you.  I care about you.  Your life matters, and your life matters to me.  Your wellbeing, your health, your happiness, your success, your safety, and the safety of everyone you care about matters to me.


Eron Drake, EdD 
Director of the Office of Academic Achievement
I am committed to listening, learning, and speaking out when injustice is brought upon those who are facing discrimination and marginalization of any kind.


Ashley May
Assistant Director of Student Programs

I am committed to being an ally, to educating myself about Black culture, to listening to the voices of Black people with an open mind and an open heart. I see you, I support you, I stand with you. 


Jack Mahdasian, MD

Clinical Professor of Psychiatry
Black Lives Matter. United We Stand.

Christine Shafer
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Student Resolution Advocate
My heart is with you. 


James E. Trosko, PhD
Professor Emeritus
The concepts behind " Black lives matter" & "I can't breath" have encompassed the goals of our Medical School since its founding by Dr. Andrew Hunt.  In my 50+ years associated as a professor, teacher, researcher & global outreacher  in the College of Human Medicine & Dept. Pediatrics/Human Development, as well as in  my personal life, the fundamental idea that any human being could be viewed as less than human , regardless under what social context one is considering , ran counter to whatever life experience I was encountering in my classroom, global outreaching, research lab, training of graduate students, postdocs, and hosting Visiting Scholars from all over the globe. While at present, I am "retired", all my efforts have been and will be to help unshackle the chains of ignorance, bigotry, and cruelty on all persons trapped by systemic institutional norms.  As a scholar of the genetics of human nature & human development, how could I have done or will do anything that would run counter to that fundamental understanding.

I grew up in a mixed racial town, went to a mixed racial school, went to college with 3 black roommates for 4 years, lived in a segregated  Federal town in Tennessee during the Vietnam war , lived and worked in several foreign countries, had blacks and non-white students as undergraduate, graduate,  postdoctoral and medical students, and worked hand & hand with non-white faculty for these 50 years, all of which never made me feel that  each human being did not had the right to the same constitutional rights that I was afforded. My wife & I experienced the wrath of our white racist neighbors when we entertained our black friends and colleagues  when we lived in this Federal town.

Let me, my wife & the memory of my late son, Philip, who was a champion of living his short life to challenge racism , to join all in CHM to state "We stand with you." This is not a statement made due to social pressure or a novel re-awakening of conscience, but on that is the very core of my values and life experiences.


Anthony Paganini, PhD
Associate Professor, Departments of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering
Director of Integration & Innovation


Molly Frendo Londgren, PhD

Medical Education Learning Specialist
As part of the antiracist movement, it is my responsibility to learn about the ways I benefit from my white privilege and use that privilege as leverage to create equity in the communities I inhabit. I promise today, and every day, to do the work as an educator and colleague to fight oppression whenever I see it and provide a safe space for those who are marginalized. Spartans of color, I see you – and I stand with you.


Kate Baird
Information Technician II, Just In Time Medicine
For 60 years I have been saddened that the concept of “all men are created equal” is not true for people of color in our country.  I remember the 1968 murder of Dr. Martin Luther King and the Detroit riots that summer; sadly, injustice prevailed.  My MSU housemate played Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” album incessantly during the school year of 1974-75; we never tired of the title song and its words that RING TRUE TODAY..….FORTY-FIVE YEARS LATER.  I was so hopeful that the horrific beating of Rodney King in 1992 would be a turning point and FINALLY white people would “get it” and see that social injustice and at least police brutality were REAL and needed to be stopped, but no, we slogged on with white supremacy.  So now, this is it, people.  Please…we have to make this the turning point for our country and make the murder of George Floyd result in positive change.  Don’t let his death and those of far too many other African Americans be forgotten. I am so sorry that it has taken decades and far too many senseless, cruel, horrible deaths and a pandemic to get white people motivated but at least they are finally getting involved!  Our young people are this country’s Great Multiracial Hope!

To quote Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”:

Mother, mother
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today, eh eh

Father, father
We don't need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today, oh oh oh

Picket lines and picket signs
Don't punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what's going on
What's going on
Yeah, what's going on
Ah, what's going on


Andrea McFerren, DO
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow
Our world would be a far duller place if it not for the beauty and innovation diversity inherently brings. May we continue to refuse the status quo and unwaveringly press forward in the goal of not only ending the oppression of people of color, but celebrating and paying gratitude for the way you enrich our lives. We see you and we thank you.

 
Geri Kelley, MM

Communications Director
I am your ally. I will speak up for you.


Francisco Velazquez
Communications Coordinator, Office of Admissions
We see you. We hear you. We stand in solidarity with the Black community against the systemic injustices that have carried on for far too long and beyond. Baldwin once said that, “An invented past can never be used; it cracks and crumbles under the pressures of life like clay in a season of drought.” I see great truth here, as the movement rejects the stories of manipulation and, because of your voices and deep sacrifices, starts to write a story anew. We commit to amplifying your voices, and look forward to when the bells of justice truly ring loudly, clearly. #BlackLivesMatter


Elizabeth Beckman 
Communications and Marketing Specialist, UP Campus
How do I articulate the sadness and anger I feel over the senseless death of George Floyd? It’s incredulous to me that this keeps happening in our country. George Floyd’s words run through my mind and make my heart heavy —“I Can’t Breath,” how terribly frightening. The protest sign that evolved my thinking said, “All Lives Can’t Matter until Black Lives Matter.”


Nicolette Brown
 
Assistant Director of Community Student Programs


Sarah Enlow
Advancement Communications Manager


Susie Ziegler 
Assistant Director of Development
I see you. I hear you. I stand by you as we work together in serving all people.

Cameron Wilcox, MD
MSU College of Human Medicine, Class of 2003

Thank you to our students and what you teach us. Black lives matter.


To participate in this campaign, please email a recent selfie and any words you'd like to share to kadunicn@msu.edu.