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University of North Carolina med school disbands DEI task force, rejects its recommendations to teach students ‘medical system is structurally racist’

The University of North Carolina’s medical school recently confirmed that it plans to disband its diversity, equity, and inclusion task force, Fox News Digital reported.

Additionally, the medical school stated that it has no plans to adopt the DEI task force’s recommendations to incorporate so-called social justice initiatives into the curriculum.

UNC’s Board of Governors voted in February to ban DEI statements from its admission, hiring, promotion, and tenure process. Before the decision, the university’s medical school required applicants to submit a statement professing their commitment to DEI initiatives.

The medical school’s Guidelines for Appointment, Promotion and Tenure said “a statement for each area is required as part of the C.V.,” which “should outline depth and breadth of efforts in each area, including but not limited to impact of work, philosophy and style, team-based projects, and mentee interactions.”

UNC told Fox News Digital that the DEI task force was assembled in 2019 and completed its work in 2020. At that time, the group determined that the university’s DEI policies complied with accreditation requirements set by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Based on the AAMC’s protocols, the task force recommended that UNC require students to learn topics including “Unconscious Bias Awareness,” “Understanding and Responding to Microaggressions,” and “Understanding that America’s medical system is structurally racist.”

“A wealth of literature has demonstrated disparities in health care access, quality, and outcomes. We now know these disparities are apparent both across our healthcare system and within most individual providers’ patient panels,” the task force stated in 2020.

After pushback from the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, an organization advocating for free speech, and Color Us United, a group dedicated to fostering a race-blind society, UNC stated it would not adopt the task force’s recommendations.

In a May letter to FIRE, UNC’s senior university counsel Kirsten Stevenson stated, “The Task Force was initiated as a means to emphasize compliance with the School of Medicine’s and the Department of Health Sciences’ shared mission of improving the health and wellbeing of North Carolinians.”

“While we remain committed to these important missions, the recommendations have not been operationalized and the Task Force has concluded its work. There is no plan to implement the Task Force’s recommendations now or in the future,” Stevenson continued. “Even if the recommendations were revisited in the future, further review and revision would be required.”

Color Us United President Kenny Xu called UNC’s decision to disband the task force and revoke its recommendations a win for the medical community.

“We’re proud of UNC’s decision to reject the DEI framework that lowers the quality of doctors and inundates their students with ideologies that have nothing to do with what is medically necessary,” Xu told Fox News Digital. “Our next step is to take UNC’s decision to other medical schools in our country to fully rid medicine from DEI’s divisive influence. We will also continue monitoring UNC’s School of Medicine to ensure that employees are not fed DEI trainings and curricula any longer.”

“It is important to note UNC is the first medical school to revoke their DEI framework without legislative interference, because it shows that we convinced key decision makers on the merits of revoking DEI, and showed it’s harmful consequences on employees, student education, and the public,” he concluded.

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