Our Mission:    

The mission of The Racial Equity Task Force (RETF) is to build awareness around racial disparities and elder abuse victims of color’s historical trauma by offering transformative ideas, information, and professional experiences when working with the elder justice community and the victims they serve. 

We will realize our mission through the following pathways:  

  • Deepening our understanding of the racial domination system and colonialism. We aim to understand how racist practices and color-blind systems are generated and how white privilege impedes efforts for racial justice, inhibiting services to elder abuse survivors.   
  • Enhancing our skills to improve elder justice responses to survivors of color. We will learn best practices and sound theory to overcome racism, sharing models, skills, tools, approaches, programs, and procedures. 
  • Creating and or enhancing learning opportunities where we share our knowledge and skills around anti-racism work within the elder justice sphere with other individuals and organizations.  
  • Committing to utilizing culture-informed skills and knowledge in our professional interactions and activities.  
  • Utilizing our organizational networks to strengthen and expand our outreach, influence, and effectiveness. 

Justice for George Floyd

To: WCM Community

Subject: Justice for George Floyd

 While today’s verdict in the George Floyd murder trial will never restore the life that was lost, our justice system succeeded in holding an individual accountable for his actions, which resulted in the needless and tragic death of another human being.

In the wake of this and other tragedies, we are writing to restate our collective commitment to fight against racism. We won’t stop advocating for improvement in our justice system, ceasing use of excessive force, and equal treatment for all, as we do our part to help build a just society. In this, we remain resolute.

We must stand together against racism and hatred of all forms and of all groups. We will continue to provide resources, programs and support that help educate us about differences among our many cultures and best practices for interacting with others, whether they are colleagues, patients, or fellow members of our community. We will conduct bystander and upstander training so we can all become allies, knowing that only through allyship can we overcome the systemic racism that pervades our society and is at the root of so much of the inequity that we are witnessing.

Eliminating racial injustice across our society is one of the defining challenges of our time. Discrimination must not be tolerated in higher education, health care, biomedical research, and in the communities in which we live, work and teach.

Augustine M.K. Choi, M.D.

Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean, Weill Cornell Medicine

Provost for Medical Affairs, Cornell University

Anil K. Rustgi, M.D.

Interim Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine

Columbia University Irving Medical Center

 Steven J. Corwin, M.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer


Laura L. Forese, M.D.

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer


Message from the Dean

To: WCM Community

Subject: A Moment of Silence Against Racism

I would like to share with you the below invitation from our partners at NYP to observe a moment of silence against racism, and especially in support of Asian and Asian American members of our community.  Bias and discrimination have been longstanding challenges for Asian Americans and have unfortunately increased during the pandemic and with recent events.  Weill Cornell Medicine joins our partners in condemning hate and racial injustice in all its forms, and we commit to working with you to build a society where people of all backgrounds are safe in their neighborhoods and workplaces.


Augustine M.K. Choi, M.D.

Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean
Weill Cornell Medicine
Provost for Medical Affairs
Cornell University


Dear Colleagues,

Racism and violence against Asians and Asian Americans are rising around the country. While the investigation into the Atlanta murders continues, we should not fool ourselves by thinking that these incidents only happen “somewhere else.”

On Thursday, April 1, at 10 a.m. and again at 9 p.m., we are asking everyone across the NewYork-Presbyterian community to join us in observing one minute of silence. However you choose to mark this time—of course while regarding appropriate social distancing and other safe practices—we ask you to do so especially in support of our Asian and Asian American colleagues, family, friends, neighbors, and all who have experienced racism in any of its overt or insidious forms. Where possible, we encourage you to do this outside, so that others may see that we are united in condemning racism, hate, and violence.

Beyond this observance, we want to reassure you of our continuing commitment to fighting against racial bias and helping to move our organization, our communities, and our nation toward fairness and justice. It is only by working together that we will succeed in bringing about lasting change.

Please join us on Thursday.


Steven J. Corwin, M.D. 

President & Chief Executive Officer, NewYork-Presbyterian

Laura L. Forese, M.D. 

Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, NewYork-Presbyterian


In these extraordinary times, we bear witness to a significant and long-overdue response to America’s ingrained, ongoing, overt oppression of Black people.

We, the leaders, staff, and practitioners at the NYC Elder Abuse Center at Weill Cornell Medicine, extend our grief, our outrage, and our solidarity in condemning the murders of the countless Black lives that have been lost to racism. We recognize that these events speak to a more significant systemic racism that pervades American society, politics, systems, and culture. 

Systemic racism also impacts elder abuse. 

There is clear evidence that systemic racism results in health and economic disparities; internalized racism in individuals; wealth, housing and food insecurities; and distrust of institutions. All of these factors impact Black elders disproportionately and place them at greater risk of elder abuse. 

On June 15th, NYC Elder Abuse Center at Weill Cornell Medicine observed World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, renewing our commitment to raising awareness of elder abuse and acknowledging its status as a public health and human rights issue. 

Today is Juneteenth, the day commemorating the official abolition of slavery in Texas nearly 2 ½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation. On this day, we commit to leveraging our platform to give voice to the lived realities of Black people and to recognize leaders and organizations that are contributing to racial equity in elder justice through their work. We also commit to looking inwards to examine how the NYC Elder Abuse Center’s internal culture creates barriers to fulfilling our goal of a safe, just, and equitable society for all, and to take active steps to eliminate these barriers. 

All of us working for elder justice, in partnership together, can advance racial justice.

Black Lives Matter. Black Deaths Matter. Black Voices Matter. Black Thoughts Matter. Black Pain Matters. Black History Matters. 

In solidarity,  

NYCEAC leaders, staff, and practitioners

June 19th, 2020


To join us in this work, please read Mistreatment of African American Elders, published by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), and African American Older Adults and Race-Related Stress: How Aging and Health-Care Providers Can Help, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Mistreatment of African American Elders

“This Research to Practice Brief synthesizes…research findings related to understanding the mistreatment of African American elder, particularly involving financial exploitation and psychological abuse…Socioeconomic variables, such as poverty, institutionalized racism, and structural segregation also place African American elders at risk.”


African American Older Adults and Race-Related Stress: How Aging and Health-Care Providers Can Help

“Despite the vulnerability of African American older adults to the cumulative effect of race-related stressors, the dialogue has yet to focus on the physical and mental health impact of these stressors. Therefore, service providers in the aging and health-care fields need greater awareness, education, and training to competently address race-related stress in African-American older adults.”


We hope you join us on our racial equity mission.