July 2020 College of Health Professions updates from Dean Zoher F. Kapasi.

Zoher F. Kapasi
July 06, 2020
Dean Zoher F. Kapasi in his office.

Dear CHP alumni and donors,

Typically, in my monthly letter, I share news and accomplishments from the college. However, this month will be different. 

To say that the last few months have been challenging for all of us is an understatement. Just as we were beginning to forge a path forward through the COVID-19 pandemic, the tragic killing of George Floyd brought the issues of systemic racism and injustice that still exist in our country into the spotlight. We have all been called on to self-reflect, examine our biases, and become allies and advocates for Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), and underrepresented minority colleagues, peers, friends and community members. 

We took small steps as a college in June by having listening sessions with students, faculty and staff. These sessions have pushed us to start having difficult conversations and learning to be OK with discomfort. This month, our faculty and staff will participate in a modified Privilege Walk exercise created by Elizabeth Brown, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Division of Healthcare Studies. I also had the opportunity to have an open conversation with two alumni who experienced racially inappropriate comments during their time at the college. I was distressed to hear of their experiences and appreciate the courage it took to bring it to my attention. 

Having the courage to come forward or to speak out against injustice isn’t always easy, especially when it feels like the opportunity isn’t there or that your concerns went unaddressed in the past. So, I would like to invite you, our alumni, to join me for a listening session, to share your personal experiences or things you may have witnessed during your time at the college.

We at CHP are dedicated to continuously improving our culture, and we expect all faculty, staff, and students to treat each other with dignity and respect. Your input is crucial in helping us develop a plan of action to ensure that everyone in our college community feels welcomed, heard, and valued for who they are.

If you are interested in participating in a listening session, please contact Lauren Brown at brownlau@musc.edu

I hope that you will join us as we do the work that is necessary to make the College of Health Professions at the Medical University of South Carolina a place that truly reflects our values and a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion.

As always, I want to thank you for your continued support, and I hope that you and your loved ones continue to stay well. 

Kind regards, 

Zoher F. Kapasi, PT, Ph.D., MBA, FAPTA
Dean and professor
College of Health Professions 

 

About the Author

Zoher F.  Kapasi
Dean and professor
Ph.D., PT
College of Health Professions

Keywords: Messages from the Dean