“I Can’t Breathe”: Black Doctors for Black Lives Rally in Rochester

Physicians Network (BPN)   hosted the Black Doctors for Black Lives Rally at Washington Square Park, in Rochester. The goal of the event was to spread awareness of the intersection between racism and health disparities while protesting systemic racism which shortens the lives of Black people and worsens our health — literally killing us. The protest peacefully raised awareness of how critical equitable treatment is across institutions — including health care — and that now is the time for an overhaul of values arising from a shameful history. 

Community leaders spoke out against racism and its detrimental effect on the health of Black people while raising a call to action to promote anti-racist practices across institutions and systems. The event concluded with 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence to commemorate the life of George Floyd and other Black victims of police brutality. 

Black physicians, health professionals of all races and ethnicities, and non-health professionals were in attendance

Speakers included: City of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren; Chief La’Ron Singletary, Rochester Police Department; Monroe County Executive Adam Bello; Rev. Sebrone Johnson, Pastor, Greater Harvest Church; Dr. Mark Taubman, President and CEO of University of Rochester Medical Center; Dr. Edith Grannum, President of Monroe County Medical Society; Dr. Linda Clark, President and Co-founder of the Black Physicians Network; and Dr. Mark Brown of the Black Physicians Network. 

The BPN is an innovative nonprofit organizational think tank made up of over 60 Black physicians in the Greater Rochester Area. Who are experts in what it takes to overcome racial, financial, academic, environmental, and socioeconomic barriers along the educational pipeline to successfully complete the degrees that ultimately lead to careers in STEM fields. (image/Michael Thaxton Photography)