Dr. Tara Gustilo is of Filipino descent, the mother of black children, and a Harvard-educated physician formerly at Hennepin Healthcare System (HHS) in Minneapolis. She was Chair of the OB/GYN Department, until HHS decided her personal views on race did not correspond with her skin color and revealed her supposed “internalized whiteness.”
Over the last decade, Dr. Gustilo has served successfully in various leadership roles at HHS. She created a program to reflect cultural differences in birthing practices to better serve her diverse patients. But over time, her colleagues transformed this program into racially segregated care. When Dr. Gustilo voiced her objections, advocated for race-neutral care, and criticized racial essentialism on her personal Facebook page, her colleagues told her that she, as a person of color, should hold the same race-essentialist views they do and could not lead because she does not share those beliefs. HHS then removed her from her position as Chair of the OB/GYN department. Dr. Gustilo has now filed an EEOC discrimination charge against HHS.