I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the social struggles that we are all facing in light of the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. Many of us are feeling and witnessing emotions of sadness, anger, and frustration, which can take on an entirely different meaning in the setting of the Deep South, where racial injustice and disparities have had a long history.

As chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine, I do believe that our group has the compassion and skills needed to relate to the community. I believe that you all have the strength and ability to eliminate disparities, racism, and inequality—in whatever ways they may show up in the world. You also have the support of UAB behind you as this is a major focus for our institution—which is one of the reasons that I came to UAB.

While I am newer to the Birmingham region, there are several ways to get involved in the community if you wish to donate your support or volunteer efforts, which include the list that Dr. Vickers sent in his message yesterday (pasted below).

As we deal with COVID-19 and also the social unrest of our country, please be sure to take care of yourself and your families. If you need someone to talk to, please reach out to me or anyone that you feel comfortable with.

Let’s work together to promote a safe and healthy society. As always, thank you for all that you do for our department and the community.


Irfan Asif, M.D.
Professor and Chair
Department of Family and Commuity Medicine
School of Medicine 
University of Alabama at Birmingham 

ACLU Alabama – The ACLU Racial Justice Program aims to preserve and extend constitutionally guaranteed rights to people who have historically been denied their rights on the basis of race.

Alabama Appleseed – A non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 1999 whose mission is to work to achieve justice and equity for all Alabamians.

Alabama Arise – A statewide, non-profit organization working to promote policies to improve the lives of Alabamians with low incomes, with a commitment to racial equity and inclusion. 

Alabama State Conference of the NAACP – Ensuring the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.

The Birmingham City Office of Social Justice and Racial Equality – Through advocacy, engagement and implementation, the Office of Social Justice and Racial Equity seeks to employ social justice as a core principle in City of Birmingham policies, operations and decision-making.

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute – A cultural and educational research center that promotes a comprehensive understanding for the significance of civil rights developments in Birmingham.

Equal Justice Initiative – An organization committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.

Faith in Action Alabama – A multi-faith, multi-racial organization that works to honor God by achieving systemic change to create pathways of opportunity for all Alabamians.

Southern Poverty Law Center – An organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.