Chats for Change | Mount Sinai


Activities that spark conversations.


Below is the Summer 2022 Chats for Change schedule. If you are a member of the Mount Sinai Health System, you are welcome to join us for these sessions.

This summer, we’re introducing new Chats for Change topics and new facilitators. We’re continuing to cover characteristics of White Supremacy Culture each month while taking a deeper dive into some hot topics!  We are putting a spotlight on structural racism, hosting a three-part series dedicated to investigating how it is so deeply embedded in medicine that it often is assumed to reflect the natural, inevitable order of things. Join us as we conclude the series with brainstorming what it would take to restructure systems to improve conditions that affect health in workplaces, neighborhoods, and schools. We are also bringing a hot topic back. One of the most well-attended sessions from the previous season involved investigating the Policy on Dealing With Racist Behavior from Patients and Guests. Join us as we take a deeper dive into the system policy and discuss strategies to support colleagues and build trust. 

Chats for Change continues to expand, including partnerships with the Office of Gender Equity in Science and Medicine, PARE (Promoting Anti-Racism and Equity) in the Department of Population Health Science and Policy, and medical student groups such as Latinx Medical Student Association (LMSA) and Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA). 

Chats for Change | Summer 2022

July 2022

Conditions of Oppression

 What conditions are necessary for the subjugation of one social group by a more powerful social group for social, economic, and political benefit? Join us as we examine the four “I’s” of oppression: Ideological, Institutional, Interpersonal and Internalized, and how they work together to create hierarchies of power in our work and learning environments.

Facilitators: Jay Johnson, CHES and Leona Hess, PhD  
Tuesday, July 5 | 12-1 pm | Join us on Zoom.  


Reframing Racial Equity in Clinical Trials

In the 40 years since the publication of the Belmont Report, which established ethical guidelines for academic research, BIPOC have gone from bearing an undue burden of involuntary participation in clinical research to being excluded from receiving its benefits. Prevailing research overemphasizes the role of the individual and does not recognize the role of institutional barriers and structural racism. Join us in considering how we can reframe the medical imperative of racial and ethnic parity in clinical trials to one of justice informed by contemporary racial studies scholarship. 

Facilitators: Victoria Roth and  Devin Madden, MPH  (PARE)
Tuesday, July 12 | 12-1 pm | Join us on Zoom.  


Structural Racism: How does it work?

Structural racism is not something a few people or institutions choose to practice. Join us are we unpack the ways in which structural racism is a feature of the social, economic, and political system in which we all exist and identify how it is showing up in our health system and school. This session will kick off the new three-part structural racism series. 

Facilitators: Jay Johnson, CHES and Leona Hess, PhD 
Tuesday, July 19 | 12-1 pm | Join us on Zoom.  


Deeper Dive Series | White Supremacy Culture Characteristics: Worship of the Written Word

Why is anything that is documented or published valued more highly than other forms of knowledge and communication? Policies are more important than conventional wisdom. Biographies are more important than oral histories. Clinical trials hold more value than patients’ lived experiences. Join us as we explore where this notion comes from, and the harm it does to our efforts to achieve justice and equity.  

Facilitator: Jennifer Meyer, LMSW, MPH and David Muller, MD
Tuesday, July 26 | 12-1 pm | Join us on Zoom.  

August 2022

Deeper Dive Series | White Supremacy Culture Characteristics: Right to Comfort

Is anti-racism actually racism against white people? We’ve heard people make that case and have to wonder how little it takes to trigger an accusation of racism from folks who already have so much privilege, including the privilege of demanding that institutional and structural racism not be challenged, or even named for that matter. This is only one slice of the ‘right to comfort’ pie. Join us as we explore other aspects of this WSC characteristic and talk about its antidotes.

Facilitators: David Muller, MD  
Tuesday, August 2 | 12-1 pm | Join us on Zoom.  


Racism in Medicine and Medical Education: A Personal and Professional Imperative

Despite our collective hard work, commitment, and aspirations, racism remains very much a part of the experience of both our work and educational environments. It is also a major factor in how clinical care is provided and how research is conducted. Why is that the case, and what can we do to undo the oppression? Join us to discuss the importance of anti-racism as the organizing principle of our profession.

Facilitators: David Muller, MD and Students 
Tuesday, August 9 | 12-1 pm | Join us on Zoom.  


The Road to Destigmatizing Mental Health within the AAPI Community

Mental health is often unfortunately brushed under the rug in many spaces, especially within Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. AAPI-identifying individuals have the lowest rate of seeking help for mental health of any racial or ethnic group in the United States. Language barriers, poor insurance coverage, as well as the social and cultural stigma surrounding mental health care are just a few barriers which prevent AAPI people from accessing care. With the rise of AAPI-related hate crime and microaggressions, it is crucial to discuss how we as individuals can help facilitate the destigmatization of mental health within our community.

Facilitators: Gavin Li, MS2 and Brian Soong, MS2 (APAMSA)
Tuesday, August 16 | 12-1 pm | Join us on Zoom.  


Deeper Dive Series | White Supremacy Culture Characteristics: Urgency

Why is white supremacy culture promoting a sense of urgency while neglecting the urgency of racial justice? Join us as we discuss how living with a constant sense of urgency promotes the abuse of power and burnout.  

Facilitators: David Muller, MD and Alia Barnes, MPH 
Tuesday, August 23 | 12-1 pm | Join us on Zoom.  


Structural Racism Series: Health and Social Segregation 

Structural racism is a driver of health inequities. What are the ways in which the health of social groups is strongly affected by structural, rather than individual, phenomena? Join us as we examine the complex relationship between social segregation and health disparities.

Facilitator: Jay Johnson, CHES and Leona Hess, PhD
Tuesday, August 30 | 12-1 pm | Join us on Zoom.  

September 2022

Structural Racism Series: Restructuring Systems

While some continue to believe medicine is apolitical and grounded purely in science, history and research reveal that medicine is inseparable from underlying systems, laws, and policies. Join us as we brainstorm ways to restructure systems to improve conditions that affect health in workplaces, neighborhoods, and schools.

Facilitators: Jay Johnson, CHES and Leona Hess, PhD
Tuesday, September 6 | 12-1 pm | Join us on Zoom.  


“Limited pool of applicants”: A fallacy rooted in racism

A common trope in diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility hiring efforts is that the pool of eligible applicants is limited. Is this an excuse that is rooted in racism and apathy? Who defines the “pool”? Who is responsible for expanding the pipeline to higher education and academia so that opportunities are more equitable and antiracist? Join us in tackling these questions.

Facilitators: PARE: Jamilia R. Sly, PhD & Sarah J. Miller, PsyD
Tuesday, September 13 | 12-1 pm | Join us on Zoom.  


Mi cuerpo, mis reglas: Reproductive Rights in the Latinx Community

The Latinx Medical Student Association will explore issues of abortion rights and general reproductive rights as they relate specifically to members of the Latinx community both in the United States and across the world. We will discuss how social stigma, religion, familial pressure, sexuality, gender norms, and many other factors have impacted Latinx females’ right to choose from both a historical and modern perspective.

Facilitators: Daniel Rivera, MS2, Nicole Muehleisen, MS2, Joseph Portelli, MS2, Kat Aliano Ruiz, MS2, and Sharen Rivas, MS2 (LMSA)
Tuesday, September 20 | 12-1 pm | Join us on Zoom.  


Deeper Dive Series | White Supremacy Culture Characteristics: Individualism

Individualism has served as a cornerstone value of American society, encouraging us to depend on single charismatic leaders, work in isolation, and avoid community-development. Join us as we explore what we miss when we rely on our individualism and that of others.

Facilitators: Peter Zweig, MPA
Tuesday, September 27 | 12-1 pm | Join us on Zoom.  
These sessions are intended for the Mount Sinai Health System community of students, faculty, and staff. After registering for any of the sessions above you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting, including an option to add the invitation to your calendar.

If you are interested in participating in Chats for Change sessions that are open to the public, join us here.