After only 15 months in the position, the director for diversity, equity and inclusion at the Yale School of Nursing has resigned, citing an “oppressive status quo.”
Rodriguez said “there is no title or salary imaginable” worth the discouragement of constant racist experiences.
“Black people from all corners of this institution … regularly experience racism,” she said. “I stayed at Yale for black people, and I am leaving Yale because of the way black people are treated.
“Since the murder of George Floyd and the movements of global unrest that have followed, it has become abundantly clear that Yale has always been a dangerous place for black people to learn and work, and an even more dangerous place for us to speak out.”
Concluding her message, Rodriguez asked students and associates to remember the following “truths”:
(1) Racism is the problem and you cannot fix a problem you refuse to name.
(2) Equity is about decentralizing white power.
(3) The factors that continue to cause poor health outcomes in BLACK/BROWN/INDIGENOUS people are SOCIAL and NOT biological.
(4) You CANNOT do anti-racism work without a fundamental (historic AND scientific) understanding of race.
Rodriguez further implored recipients to “always, always, always know that there are no colorblind solutions” to problems or paths to success.
Nursing students upset at organizational changes at the school had sent a 150-signatory-strong petition to Yale President Peter Salovey and Provost Scott Strobel in August. The students will meet with school officials on October 26 to discuss it.