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A Message from MDS President and President-Elect

The following is a message from MDS President Dr. Janis Moriarty and President-Elect Dr. MaryJane Hanlon to members addressing racial injustice across the country.

June 3, 2020
 
Dear Colleagues,

As a profession and an organization, we sometimes shy away from societal conversations happening around us. As dentists, we are often viewed as community leaders due to our frequent interaction with local residents. The recent death of George Floyd and the ensuing peaceful protests across the country and here in Massachusetts have shown that silence on the topic of racial justice only allows the status quo to continue. Leadership is needed on this issue from all walks of life, including dentistry, if we as a society are going to achieve the change that we need.

The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) stands with members of our communities, including our dentists and patients, who face injustice and racism in their day-to-day lives. Unfortunately, racism continues to be pervasive throughout all levels of society. Social media posts and thoughts and prayers alone will not solve these problems. We must stand up and act.

To this date, the MDS admits that it has not done enough within our own organization and profession to ensure diversity and inclusivity. This failure does not go unrecognized, and that is why today, we are announcing a task force to develop a robust policy in this area and to assist with ongoing conversations with members regarding equity and racial justice. The task force will be charged with:
  • Developing a diversity and inclusion policy for the MDS and for District Dental Societies
  • Planning and coordinating conversations around race and social justice for members
  • Pursuing opportunities for diversity and inclusion training for MDS and District leaders

To quote ADA President Dr. Chad Gehani:

“This is the moment to unravel from whatever personal biases we may harbor. To become allies. To have the hard conversations. To listen to voices that have long gone unheard. To speak up for those who have been disenfranchised. To commit to empathy and understanding. To be forces for change. To be agents of harmony. To call out wrong when we see it. And to do what’s right when we can.”

We hope wounds from past injustices can be healed and change can prevent future pain.

Silence isn't an option anymore.