Statement on Anti-Bias

From Dean Ann Kurth

To the Yale School of Nursing Community:

Our communities are always stronger when we stand together and not engage in stigma or divisiveness. This is especially true in a pandemic. As our YSN and partner communities come together to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, I would like to acknowledge everyone who is working to confront fear, stress, and clinical unknowns, with compassion, commitment and solidarity. In a world sometimes riven by racism and other biases, it is important to stand against any discrimination or xenophobia at this time, including against people of Asian heritage.

As Dr. Darin Lattimore pointed out in a similar statement to the Yale School of Medicine community, “The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) announced ‘severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)’ as the name of the new virus on 11 February 2020. This name was chosen because the virus is genetically related to the coronavirus responsible for the SARS outbreak of 2003. …Names such as “China Virus,” “Wuhan Virus,” or “Asian Virus” are not only inaccurate and unhelpful, they also cause harm by perpetuating xenophobic biases that inhibit patient care, undermine preventative measures, and cause undue risk to mental health. This egregious language serves to create negative stereotypes at a time when our focus should be on expressing solidarity with our community.”

YSN’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) and Yale’s Office of Institutional Equity and Access at the university, are available to support anyone who may be feeling isolated or is a victim of bias. Please feel free to reach out for support to Raven Rodriguez, Heather Reynolds, or Associate Dean Nelson.

Thank you for standing for the rights of all of us, and together against the virus.

Ann Kurth
Dean and Linda Koch Lorimer Professor

LaRon E. Nelson
Associate Dean of Global Health & Equity
Independence Foundation Associate Professor