The past few weeks have been intense. We continue to face the challenge of addressing mental health and well-being, while coping now with a national landscape that has increasingly normalized racist and biased rhetoric and behavior. We at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai do not tolerate or condone behavior that is discriminatory.

At times like these we must, more than ever before, rely on each other for the kind of tolerance, respect, and civil discourse that we wish we could see in every sphere of life. We want you to be the workforce that changes the lives of patients, advances science, offers our society the opportunity for health equity for all and to pave the way to eliminate the structural systems that have burdened our country and our medical school community.

This will continue to be an enormous challenge given how embattled many of us feel, and how raw emotions are at this time.

We will continue to do everything in our power to maintain a learning environment that is not only safe, but also nurturing and supportive of everyone’s personal growth. We are committed to the personal and professional success of each of you and we work hard to ensure that we do our best in this space. This work requires a full commitment from and participation of our student body, faculty and staff. Each and every one of us has to be fully invested in this endeavor. At this time of intense social uncertainty, our words and actions have an impact that cannot be underestimated.

We need to be mindful of how we engage, respect others’ ideas and points of view and lean in with curiosity, not debate. We need to care about each other and care for each other. Divisiveness will end up playing into the worst aspects of what we’re seeing happen around us. Our only strength is in solidarity.

In the coming weeks we plan to bring students together in venues that we hope will help us all process recent events and set a standard for how we want to move forward as a community.