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Certainly, the events of 2020 are unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. In the midst of a pandemic, a series of unjust and unimaginable deaths of African Americans were recorded and revealed to the world via videos on eyewitnesses’ cell phones. The prevalence of systemic racism in our country pervades more now than ever. The veil has been lifted. For the first time, some people are realizing a reality they didn’t know or want to acknowledge existed — that African Americans in this country are treated as second-class citizens, even in the “Land of the Free.”

While I have found myself occasionally bogged down by fear, frustration and hopelessness, I have also used this time to reflect on ways I can create, channel and spur real change. As an African-American genetic counselor and scientist, I mourn the incessant attacks against people who look like me year after year. As I turn inward to counter outward pressures, I am empowered to create and sustain a legacy that fosters equity and inclusion of visible and invisible diversity, both for those working in the field as well as the patients and communities we assist daily.