As we endeavor to push forward to change the future, we must first understand the past. Colonization, slavery, segregation, apartheid, systemic racism – these experiences created a foundation of mistrust rooted in history.

Some of this history can be found here:

Here is a small sampling of formative events in U.S. history that have shaped the relationship communities of color have with medical research and the health care system. This list is by no means exhaustive, but we hope it helps pave the way for candid dialogue that guides our work on equity.

Slavery (1619 - 1730)

An illustration depicting a pair of manacles, commonly used to restrain enslaved people during slavery in the United States
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Gynecology/​Experimentation On Enslaved Women (1845 - 1849)

An illustration depicting a black woman, whose red headband and green dress are colorized amid an otherwise black and white illustration, kneeling on a raised platform, with the profile of a white man in the foreground barely visible on the side of the image
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Closing Of Medical Schools/​Exclusion Of Future Health Providers (1870)

An illustration of a black man depicted from the shoulders down, wearing a three-piece suit, carrying a medical bag
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Birth Control Experimentation Puerto Rico (1930s - 1970s)

An illustration depicting a black Puerto Rican woman holding a young child on her lap, with another child nearby.
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The Tuskegee Experiment (1932 - 1972)

An illustration depicting a black man in common clothing of a farmer from 1930s America, centered in a group of other similarly dressed figures who are shown in outline only
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Henrietta Lacks (1951)

An illustration depicting Henrietta Lacks, wearing a suit, smiling, and with her hands on her hips
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Radioactive iodine (1956 - 1957)

An illustration of a steel barrel with a radioactive waste label, behind a medicine tablet resting on a steel tray
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