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A week ago, Dr. Tony Back asked participants at our Well-Being Day to share their “weather report” — a word or two to describe how they are feeling. The responses varied from blue skies and sunshine to a Category 5 hurricane. We have all been feeling the stress and anxiety of COVID-19 differently based on our identities and experiences, which has highlighted disparities between us. Those disparities are rooted in another socially transmitted disease: systemic racism. Like COVID-19, this macro stressor has disproportionally impacted our Black community members, but harms us all in different ways. Scholar Arline Geronimus coined the concept of “weathering” to make sense of the impacts of constant stress on physical and mental well-being, especially for those holding marginalized identities.

We believe that Black lives matter.

We recognize that racism and discrimination negatively impact our well-being — as individuals, as a community, as a country — and that all of us will have a role to play in our collective liberation from systems of oppression.

Our UW Medicine and University community members have offered several thoughtful responses to the racialized violence and discrimination being experienced across our country right now including UW Medicine’s Leadership call for solidarity against racism. Yesterday afternoon, deans across the Health Sciences came together to address training, curriculum shifts, and recruitment and retention strategies to move toward being an anti-racist community. Watch the Health Sciences Community Gathering: A Space to Be Heard and Support Our Black Colleagues here. On Friday at 3 pm, we will hold our UW Medicine Town Hall and will have Dr. Paula Houston back as a panelist. Please share your questions with us in advance here.

As we are being inundated with social media and news reports of violence and brutality, know that viewing such media can be traumatizing and harmful to our overall well-being. The inundation of images and information can also overwhelm us and make us feel stuck. To help you get un-stuck and embrace your own well-being, we have compiled lists of what you can read, watch, listen to, and do based on who you are and what you need in this moment:

  • For our Black colleagues to connect with community, find support, and engage in restorative well-being practices written by and designed for Black people.
  • For our white colleagues to support you in engaging in understanding race and racism. These resources provide strategies to engage in dismantling racism and systems of oppression to support your well-being and the well-being of every member of our community.

Connect and Restore (for our Black colleagues written by and designed for Black people):



  • The Daily Show’s host Trevor Noah captures the interconnection of recent events in this video.
  • Black Feminism & the Movement for Black Lives: Barbara Smith, Reina Gossett, Charlene Carruthers in a conversation looking at the intersections of identity through the lens of Black Feminism in this video.
  • How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion features Peggy McIntosh at TEDx in this video.



  • Show up. Edwin Lindo, JD, Family Medicine, and Estell Williams, MD, Surgery, is organizing a march for healthcare workers from Harborview Medical Center to Town Hall in solidarity with our Black colleagues in a stand against racism and injustice on Saturday morning at 9 am. Wear your white coats, scrubs and healthcare gear to show your support.
  • Reflect on what you can do to engage in anti-racist work.

For a collection of Anti-Racist Resources, please check out this complied list. As you are processing your own emotions and experience of this moment, consider writing your own 55-word story to share.

We are not okay. We stand with our Black friends, colleagues, families and community members in solidarity against racism and we encourage everyone to engage in the important work ahead of us to support our collective well-being.