Harvard Medical School to disperse portraits of past white male department chairs

June 22, 2018

The Harvard Medical School teaching hospital plans to remove the paintings of the former department chairs from an auditorium, as part of its broader diversity initiatives. according to an article on The Boston Globe website.

The hospital’s president, Dr. Betsy Nabel, said she had considered ending the tradition of hanging pictures of retired chairs in the auditorium for several years. 

“I have watched the faces of individuals as they have come into Bornstein,’’ Nabel said in the article. “I have watched them look at the walls. I read on their faces ‘Interesting. but I am not represented here.’ That got me thinking maybe it’s time that we think about respecting our past in a different way.’’

Moving them is a good idea, Titilayo Afolabi, a Nigerian-American and first-year student at the medical school, said in the article, but she is “very wary of the image of change rather than actual change. It’s easy to remove people from the wall. It’s more difficult putting people of color in power.’’

Read the article.



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