x

13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Hundreds of doctors, nurses rally for social justice and racial equality

After spending weeks on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, hundreds of doctors and nurses came out to take on a new fight Wednesday.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - After spending weeks on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, hundreds of doctors and nurses came out to take on a new fight Wednesday.

The medical professionals joined groups across the country protesting racial injustice.

“As a black man, I face the fear of police, the trauma of my community and the disdain of so many people who are silent today,” said a doctor who addressed a sea of people in white coats and medical scrubs, many of them holding signs, all of them raising their voices Wednesday afternoon.

“Today, we march together and we will continue marching as a united front, until there is real change,” said another woman to the crowd through a bullhorn.

The gathering filled the grassy area between Eskenazi Hospital and Riley Hospital for Children as part of a demonstration called "White Coats for Black Lives."

“To our colleagues of color, we commit to uplifting and amplifying your voices. We will work to create a safe place to share your experiences and your pain,” another doctor told the crowd.

Doctors and other medical professionals came together from area hospitals to speak against what they said is a public health crisis, systemic racism, leading to police brutality.

“I’m here today because I care about the people and I care about the cause,” said Dr. Francesca Duncan.

“Seeing another person being killed unjustly by police and the systems that be, not seeking justice, it’s really spurred us and I think a lot of people have angst about all that’s happening and wanted an avenue to show their solidarity,” added Dr. Crystal Azu.

Doctors also spoke out against the disparities they see in health care for minorities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s becoming more to light and obvious that health care disparities are real,” said Dr. Robert Swazo. “They exist and we need to broach them. At the end of the day, we’re hoping to send a message that we need to get started earlier."

All of it, the doctors gathered said, are the result of a system they hope to change.

“We hope to spur that excitement in those who are ready to do the work,” said Azu.