Connect with us

US News

White Coats for Black Lives: UMKC Healthcare Workers, Students Gather in Solidarity



Protest after George Floyd's Death | White Coats for Black Lives: UMKC Healthcare Workers, Students Gather in Solidarity | Featured

Jun. 6–Around 150 healthcare workers and students gathered at Hospital Hill Park Saturday to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement and demonstrators fighting for racial equality and an end to police brutality.

White Coats for Black Lives, part of a nationwide movement of healthcare students, began with a moment of silence. Demonstrators took a knee before forming a circle and listening as members of the crowd stepped forward to share stories and call for an end to systemic and institutionalized racism.

The demonstrations came on the ninth day of protests in Kansas City, as similar demonstrations continue across the country. The activism was sparked by the killing of George Floyd last month at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

Most of the crowd Saturday came dressed in their white coats or scrubs.

Many of the health professionals spoke about disparities in the healthcare industry along racial lines and the higher mortality rate of African Americans. Others spoke to their own experiences and the need for change.

Zainab Self, a dental student, said she is the only black woman in her class of 105 students. Speaking through tears, she said that people of color out protesting are not asking for much, they are simply asking to live.

“We are so tired of being told that this is what we should expect our entire lives,” Self said in discussing racial profiling and discrimination.

Self said that she is married to a white police officer and said he was shocked his first days on the job when he experienced how terrified people of color were when he stopped them for traffic violations. She said she hopes things change before she is forced to have that conversation with her own children.

Tamica Lige, a faculty member at the UMKC Medical School, echoed what Self said, lamenting that so many years after Martin Luther King Jr. marched in Selma, his goals haven't been realized.

“I will use my voice and my platform for as long as I am able,” she said.

Protesters called for a renewed effort in medicine to work through racial biases and understand why discrepancies exist. They also urged the white members of the crowd to reflect internally and ensure they were not harming people of color.

Blair Thedinger, a doctor, called for reparations and affirmative action as a step toward reconciliation.

“I support these protesters. I support what they're doing,” he said.


(c)2020 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

Visit The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Up Next:

Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment

  • Spike says:

    It is mind boggling! By this time how can anyone not know that BLM is made up primarily of white folks and is a Marxist group heavily supported by white super wealthy men, who I would extrapolate have the overthrow of our type of government and way of life as their goal!!! If you donate or support this group, you are heading us on a Venezuela path. Do any of these people read, listen, do their own research?? Death, havoc, and destruction is the aim of BLM. They put Black in their name and everyone “literally” falls for it! The biggest danger to this country has people kneeling before them and Fortune 500 companies donating to them. Does anyone know of a program and or act that actually tries to save lives, get a decent education, clean out the crime that is the actual harm and brutality in the inner cities for Black Lives???? In fact their call to defund/get rid of law enforcement as led to an extreme increase in lost Black lives (young black males killing each other) and don’t you wonder if that is the real aim of this group??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2022 Breaking News Alerts. This copyrighted material may not be republished without express permission. The information presented here is for general educational purposes only. MATERIAL CONNECTION DISCLOSURE: You should assume that this website has an affiliate relationship and/or another material connection to the persons or businesses mentioned in or linked to from this page and may receive commissions from purchases you make on subsequent web sites. You should not rely solely on information contained in this email to evaluate the product or service being endorsed. Always exercise due diligence before purchasing any product or service. This website contains advertisements.