NIH launches initiative against structural racism in biomedical research

March 2, 2021

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched an effort to end structural racism and racial inequities in biomedical research through a new initiative called UNITE, which has already begun to identify short-term and long-term actions, according to a news release from NIH.

“The UNITE initiative's efforts are being informed by five committees with experts across all 27 NIH institutes and centers who are passionate about racial diversity, equity, and inclusion.” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD.

The NIH is seeking guidance from outside of the agency through the Advisory Committee to the Director, which will be informed by the committee’s working group on diversity, and through a request for information (RFI). The RFI is open through April 9, 2021, and responses to the RFI will be made publicly available.

“The events of 2020 highlighted the reality of our nation's racial injustices that have been allowed to endure over four centuries, and that significantly disadvantaged the lives of so many. The time for upholding our values and taking an active stance against racism, in all its insidious forms, is long overdue,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD. “Our intention is to apply what we learn from this initiative to all future actions centered on diversity, equity, and inclusion for other groups who have been marginalized.”

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