To the CCIL community,

Discrimination, as painfully illustrated by recent events, affects every aspect of our daily lives. While the recent loss of life and ensuing violence provide an acute reminder, they are also a painful outcome of the cumulative effects of chronic, everyday discrimination. These every day “thousand small cuts” eventually add up to segments of our community neither being able to benefit from nor contribute to our collective – mental, social, economic and physical – well-being. The loss of talent and opportunity from discrimination means that we are not doing all we can, for example, to diagnose cancer or find cures or take care of survivors. As the Cancer Center at Illinois, we do and shall continue to denounce any acts of racism and violence. Discrimination, whether it is race, gender, orientation, or beliefs, in any form is simply wrong, and it will continue to have no place in the Cancer Center at Illinois.

The Cancer Center at Illinois is a unit that has the greater good of society at its very core. Our lives are significantly enriched in the knowledge that we contribute every day to progress against one of the great challenges of modern society. Let us also be mindful of the challenge of maintaining a just and equitable society as well. While things will get better, they will not immediately become what they should be. It will take considerable effort.

Let us all re-commit to an equitable and just outlook for everything we do and everywhere we are. Let us take these moments to re-affirm that we will not remain passive when we can do our part to improve society. Our actions can make a difference. It is the small, everyday thoughts and acts from each one of us that can go a long way to changing the national culture such that unfortunate events resembling those of the past week are confined to history.

Best wishes,

Director, Cancer Center at Illinois