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Vidant Medical Center criticized after sending email to employees

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 10:40 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Vidant Medical Center in Greenville is receiving backlash after sending an email out to its employees.

WITN received emails and Facebook messages regarding an email entitled, “16 Bridge-Building Tips For White People.” Viewers who forwarded the email wanted to remain anonymous and feared publicly complaining about the email they say was offensive.

The email from Vidant gives “tips” on how to move towards racial reconciliation. The first tip says, “Don’t expect People of Color (POC) to be your only source of education about race.” There are additional tips that many find offensive, such as, “Don’t compare your experience of oppression or suffering with a Person of Color’s experience with oppression or suffering.”

Vidant Health issued a statement about the email saying it is part of their mission to actively work towards diversity of inclusion and the graphic was created out of honest dialogue with employees.

One “tip” people are widely offended by suggests people should not “Whitesplain.” The bridge building pamphlet defines “Whiteplain as a White person explaining racism or suggesting how a POC should respond to perceived racist incidents.”

The list of “tips” continues explaining the power of words and how some words have a lasting impact, negative or positive. The additional “tips” offer direct advice and are specific to White people.

Vidant Medical Center sends email to employees
Vidant Medical Center sends email to employees(Amber Lake)
Vidant Medical Center email
Vidant Medical Center email(Amber Lake)

In the statement below, Vidant Health leaders outlined how the messaging was created and said, “These sessions for team members have created a lot of interest, which is why Vidant is steadfast in offering these voluntarily conversations.”

However, some employees, who contacted WITN, remain outraged and call this type of email “racist” and “hurtful.”

Vidant Health Statement:

Copyright 2020 WITN. All rights reserved.

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