Social Justice

As a Black male medical student passionate about increasing representation in medicine, I knew I had to tune in to the Black Men in White Coats film screening hosted by UCSF Black Men in Medicine on Feb.

Originally published in Synapse on February 16, 1984. Next week, UCSF will be sponsoring a day-long symposium, “Affirmative Action in Higher Education.” The program comes at a key time — during Black History Month, and following a report

​This encouraging message adorned the museum courtyard of Golden Gate Park in the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests this year. I have often spent time relaxing and reflecting on the benches here.

[Originally published on February 5, 2009.] Last month we honored the birth of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and witnessed the inauguration of our nation’s first African American president, Barack Hussein Obama.

[Originally published on January 26, 1995.] On Jan. 20, Joseph E. Marshall, a founder and executive director of the Omega Boys Club, spoke in Cole Hall as part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. commemoration. Marshall is an educator who has operated an “underground railroad” — his description of the Omega Boys Club approach — that attempts to save one child at a time.

I’m young, healthy, and not a frontline worker, but I’ve gotten a COVID-19 vaccine. While some may see nothing wrong with this sentence, I see it as a fundamental systematic flaw in the rollout and distribution of the vaccine worldwide.

Originally published on December 8, 1992. In order to survive, Native Americans must maintain their tribal customs and not give in to the overbearing paternalism of Western medicine.
[This submission won third place for the Synapse Storytelling Contest photography category.] An aerial photograph of the Black Lives Matter mural that was painted by community leaders in the Fillmore district.

Dr. Balmes apologized for information published by this San Francisco Chronicle. Dr. Balmes need not apologize to me!

Originally published on October 25, 2012. On my Saturday afternoon walk across San Francisco, I ran into Abel, a young man in his mid-20s, who was panhandling at the corner of 19th Street and Dolores. As I walked past, he offered me a deal I found very peculiar, so peculiar in fact that I had to take it.