LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The UK health colleges stood and kneeled in solidarity Friday against racial injustice. The students in attendance say it was a first step in the discussion about health care inequality and what to do about it.
The day started out with several speakers including UK President Eli Capilouto. One quote from his speech he said, “Change is examining confronting and unlearning our many biases.”
Of the many speakers at Friday’s event they all spoke about equality, but the day may not have happened if it hadn’t been for an email sent by one courageous student.
MyChelle Gochette is a student in UK’s Dentistry School she saw what was going on and became concern UK was dropping the ball. “As an African American student I felt all of the energy had been put into Coronovirus and checking on student and making sure we were okay. Getting us off campus but I felt like this was also a big issue this was also a pandemic going on.”
After her email she received several phone calls and found out the policies were in the works. But she isn’t the only one who is concerned overall the inequalities making the headlines. Gloria Maldonado is a UK Physician’s Assistant Student and she understands the stats. “Disparities in the black community are overwhelming and with people of color in general and I think it’s something that’s not talk about enough but absolutely has an impact on their health.”
The event featured an 8 minute and 46 second moment of reflection where everyone got on their knees. Marking the times the Minneapolis Police killed George Floyd. The message on many signs, ‘Solidarity’ and ‘I see you.”
Gochette says, events like this are important because you never know who is hurting, “I just feel like in times like this students really need to be supported and it’s not just about your African American students because we have students from all over the world.
With that said, Gochette and Maldonado agree more needs to be done. “I think it is a good first step.” Maldonado adds, “I hope to see more implemented with the help of the healthcare college looking at health disparity and seeing how we can help change the system.”
She adds she hopes to one day work and listen to her patients needs to better assist them and thereby help change the system from the bottom up.