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Mandatory ‘prayer’ to ‘Mama Earth’ in UCLA med school ‘structural racism’ class

Also included ‘Free, free Palestine’ chants

University of California Los Angeles medical students were reportedly ordered to say a “non-secular prayer” to “Mama Earth” during a mandatory “structural racism” class.

Guest speaker Lisa Gray-Garcia “began the March 27 class by leading students in what she described as a ‘non-secular prayer’ to ‘the ancestors,’” The Washington Free Beacon reported. She “instruct[ed] everyone to get on their knees and touch the floor—’mama earth’ as she described it—with their fists.”

“From Korea to Palestine-MamaEarth will be free #ComfortWomen justice coalition opposes genocide in #Palestine,” she (pictured) also wrote on X a few days prior. In November 2023, she referred to the terrorist attacks on Israel as “justice.”

Pagan worship was not the only mandatory oration in the “Structural Racism and Health Equity” course, according to the Free Beacon.

From the story:

The prayer also included a benediction for “black,” “brown,” and “houseless people” who die because of the “crapatalist lie” of “private property.”

“Mama earth,” Gray-Garcia told the kneeling students, “was never meant to be bought, sold, pimped, or played.”

So began a long and looney lecture that shocked some students at the elite medical school and has led to calls for an investigation. Wearing a keffiyeh that covered her entire face, Gray-Garcia, a self-described “poverty scholar,” led the class in chants of “Free, Free Palestine” as faculty and staff looked on in silence, according to people in the course and contemporaneous text messages reviewed by the Free Beacon.

“Gray-Garcia later referred to modern medicine as ‘white science’ and inveighed against the ‘occupation’ of ‘Turtle Island’—that is, the United States—before asking students to stand for a second prayer,” the Free Beacon reported. “This time, nearly everyone rose.”

However, an unidentified UCLA administrator sought to identify one student who sat during this part, “implying that discipline could be on the table,” the Free Beacon reported.

“The net effect was that UCLA staff intimidated first-year medical students into participating in a religious service in derogation of their own personal beliefs,” the university’s Jewish Faculty Resilience Group wrote in a letter to Chancellor Gene Block on Friday, March 29.

The course also has faced criticism for a planned exercise to separate students by race into discussion groups. UCLA canceled that part of the class after media attention from the Wall Street Journal.

The course also includes content on “settler colonialism,” as previously reported by The Daily Wire.

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.