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White Coats for Black Lives

White Coats 4 Black Lives (WC4BL) at the University of Rochester Medical Center


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White Coats for Black Lives at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry (URSMD) is a local chapter of the national organization, WC4BL. URSMD WC4BL was chartered within the Student National Medical Association in 2014 by medical students and residents to call attention to racism and police brutality as public health issues. As one of the group’s first actions, 60 students wearing their white coats laid on the URSMD floor in protest of the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner; this Die-In was held in conjunction with students from 70 schools across the country. In 2015 on the undergraduate campus, University of Rochester President Joel Seligman received a petition from multiple minority groups in response to an increased number of racist postings on social media. A Presidential Committee on Race and Diversity was created on 11/23/2015 in response to student activism. In 2018-2019, WC4BL at URSMD, along with 17 medical schools, participated in the Racial Justice Report Card (RJRC). URSMD also participated in the 2020-2021 RJRC and is working on engaging with the URMC Equity and Anti-Racism Plan, policy changes, and liaison groups across the institution.

If you are interested in more information about WC4BL, please reach out to us at We look forward to hearing from you!