NIDCR Director’s Statement on Structural Racism

March 1, 2021

There is no place for structural racism in biomedical research.

Dr. Rena D'Souza appears on the left, with NIH's Ending Structural Racism logo on the right.
NIDCR Director Dr. Rena D'Souza and the UNITE initiative.

In 2020, a series of racial injustices painfully underscored our nation’s centuries-old struggle with systemic and structural racism. For many organizations – NIDCR included – these were seminal events that demanded we evaluate how we could champion change and do our part to actively stop racism, no matter what form it takes.

Today NIH is launching the UNITE initiative, which aims to end structural racism in biomedical research. I am proud to be a member of the UNITE ‘E’ committee, focused on the extramural research community and work environment. I'm joined by NIDCR senior investigator Dr. Kelly Ten Hagen, who's serving on another UNITE committee and subcommittee. NIDCR emphatically supports this effort, and a Request for Information (RFI), also issued today, seeking input on the topic from stakeholder and public organizations.

In the coming months, I will be announcing some specific ways our institute will amplify our efforts and support such an important and meaningful initiative by eliminating any policies or practices that may harm our workforce or the science we support. Until then, I would encourage you to visit UNITE’s website or the additional resources below:




Dr. Rena D’Souza
Director, NIDCR

Last Reviewed
March 2021