Can I tell you a secret? I’m sure that it won’t go really far, this is just for family. Y’all are my family–all the great gathering of folk that I hope and pray that I improve your day in some small way. I wanted to go to New York University to study English, and if I couldn’t go there, I wanted to go to Tulane University. I so wanted to go! I have had this love affair with New Orleans since I saw it on a map! So, what better way to leave your hometown than under the guise of furthering your education. I was unmarried, 24, had no kids–then Hurricane Katrina happened. But that’s another set of stories.
So, when I heard about what was going at my almost alma-mater? I couldn’t stay silent. Enter Dr. Princess Dennar.
Dr. Princess Dennar, an administrator in the Tulane School of Medicine, sued Tulane University, alleging discrimination stemming from racism and sexism. Dennar was recently removed from her position as a program director in the School of Medicine. Dennar is the first Black woman to hold the role of medical director.
In her lawsuit, Dennar accused Dr. Jeffrey Wiese and Dr. Lee Hamm, senior vice president and dean of the School of Medicine, of racism towards her and to others who worked with her who are of minority backgrounds. Dennar stated that residents of a minority background were forced to complete a more difficult rotation schedule and were denied access to needed skills and training. When Dennar brought these and other concerns up to Wiese and Hamm, she recalled being threatened and retaliated against by them. The lawsuit also cites Wiese and Hamm’s actions to diminish Dennar’s leadership and authority such as relocating her program without consulting her and taking her off the MedHub online platform, thereby hindering her ability to perform.
Hamm has denied the accusations of racism that were made in Dennar’s lawsuit.The Tulane Hullabaloo, 2.16.2021
Not only is she the first Black woman to have held this position, but to have her success be kneecaped like this? Rage isn’t even the right word for this. It truly isn’t! As hard as medical school is, as hard as being Black in a school is, to have achieved this level of success, only to have some White man mad or insecure about his standing to come up with shenanigans to compromise progress!
In having this idea of profession dominated by White men, have some leadership shared with a Black woman–the same women whom used to be medical specimens!–that is inconceivable. Simply inconceivable! There is something wrong with a system that is based in healing–with healthcare being a human right!–not willing to allow a minority person to hold any power or influence, which will only strengthen the influence of the cause of adequate healthcare! What happened to her was wrong, not just racist! This is why it racism must be confronted, systemic racism dismantled, and racists exposed for what they are!
To help Dr. Dennar fight this, click here for her GoFundMe information. The goal is $100k–she is at about $46k now. Black physicians are diamonds! We must support them! Any amount will help! Thank you, Torches.