• Petitioned UCLA Chancellor Gene Block

This petition was delivered to:

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block

Stop Discriminating and Retaliating Against Dr. Christian Head

    1. Willis Edwards
    2. Petition by

      Willis Edwards

      Los Angeles, CA

November 2013


The case of Dr. Christian Head, a respected UCLA surgeon who was the target of blatant racial discrimination and harassment, was finally awarded a settlement from the University of California Regents in the amount of $4.5 million. The petition that demanded a resolution for Dr. Head made a huge difference in pressuring the Regents of the University of California, which oversees all 10 universities in the state system, to reach a sufficient settlement.

Now more physicians and UCLA faculty are stepping forward to tell their own stories about racism and discrimination in the workplace. These stories are supported by a recent independent investigation into UCLA’s antidiscrimination policies and practices. UCLA Advocates for diversity at UCLA are now calling on the California Attorney General to conduct a full investigation into allegations of discrimination: https://www.change.org/petitions/ca-attorney-general-kamala-harris-investigate-ucla-for-ignoring-discrimination-and-retaliation-complaints-by-faculty-members.

Please sign the petition to reform UCLA’s system for investigating and resolving claims of racial discrimination and retaliation.

It is shameful that a respected African American faculty surgeon at the UCLA Medical Center could be intentionally demeaned based on his race and that university officials could ignore blatant acts of racial discrimination. But that is what is happening at UCLA.

Imagine being graphically depicted as a gorilla in a slideshow photo. That alone is offensive. But the fact that the slide was publicly presented for laughs during an annual medical school sponsored event attended by more than 200 physicians, faculty, residents and guests is both shocking and indefensible.

Not only was Dr. Christian Head’s face superimposed onto the body of a gorilla standing on all-fours, but the photo also depicted him being sodomized by his Caucasian supervisor. This, unfortunately, was just one of a series of racially motivated incidents that Dr. Head has had to deal with over the past several years at UCLA. His complaints to administrative leaders at the Medical Center, the University and UC Regents have gone unanswered. In fact, his complaints have spurred additional acts of humiliation, attempts to push him out of academic medicine and retaliation.

The Los Angeles Wave and Los Angeles Times newspapers have written about the vindictive and racially motivated actions that UCLA Medical Center supervisors have taken against Dr. Head, the ONLY African American surgeon in the Head & Neck Department. In fact, Dr. Head is only 1 of 2 tenured African American teaching surgeons in the entire UCLA Medical School out of more than 200 faculty surgeons.

Rather than do the right thing to keep the work environment free from discrimination, UCLA has opted to ignore Dr. Head’s formal requests to stop the harassment and retaliation against him. Racial discrimination has no place in institutions of higher education or, for that matter, anywhere in our society.

Tell UCLA to stop the discrimination.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 100,000 signatures

      Willis Edwards
      Petition Organizer

      With your help and support, we have now tripled the number of signatures we originally sought. ABC Eyewitness News is conducting an ongoing investigation and CNN's Roland Martin has interviewed Dr. Head and written about his ordeal. Los Angeles Wave newspaper reporter Betty Pleasant continues to uncover more information suggesting a pattern of problems at UCLA. The NAACP, UCLA Black Alumni and Afrikan Student Union held a press conference denouncing the treatment against Dr. Head and demanding a swift resolution to his case. They also called on California State officials to conduct an external investigation into discrimination and retaliation cases over the past 10 years at UCLA.

      Please continue to spread the word until UCLA makes good on their commitment to promote an atmosphere of tolerance and inclusion and implement substantive action against discrimination.

      Thanks for your support!

    3. Reached 7,000 signatures

      Willis Edwards
      Petition Organizer

      Friends, we’ve more than doubled our initial goal of 2,500 signatures demanding an end to the discrimination against Dr. Christian Head. With more than 5,300 signatures and over 125,000 YouTube views, you have helped elevate attention to this terrible injustice occurring at UCLA Medical Center and have exposed UCLA’s failure to adequately respond to Dr. Head’s complaints.

      Because you’ve spoken out, ABC News in Los Angeles will air a news story on UCLA’s treatment of Dr. Head later this afternoon. Despite the attention, UCLA refuse to acknowledge the medical center’s shameful treatment toward Dr. Head.

      You can continue to help by passing this petition along to family and friends through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, e-mail and any other communication tool you think works. UCLA is waking up to the fact that people across our nation and across the world support equality, diversity and the dignified treatment of others regardless of one’s background.

      Let's keep it going!

    5. Reached 5,000 signatures
    6. We have hit the 1,000 supporter mark and YOU made the difference!

      Willis Edwards
      Petition Organizer

      Congratulations! In only a matter of 4 days, this petition has been signed by over 1,000 people from all over the world, and you made it happen. We all share in the position that UCLA's treatment of Dr. Christian Head falls short of what we expect from UCLA and their expressed commitment to diversity and the respect for people of all backgrounds. This benchmark is only the beginning of efforts to correct a serious injustice and continue the work of eliminating racial discrimination.

      We have heard from the patients and patient family members acknowledging Dr. Head's role in saving lives. As you can see, he is a person worthy of support. I thank you for taking the time to demonstrate your support and promote social justice. It truly makes a difference. Please continue our work by forwarding this petition and posting to your own social networks. Together, we can change our world for the better one step at a time.

      Sincere Regards,


    7. Reached 1,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Varaidzo Chipunza MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
      • 11 months ago

      It just saddens me. I feel like a 14 year old black child that this may be what I have to look forward to in the future if people don't take action. The world needs to change, NOW.

    • Maria Dlott CHAMPAIGN, IL
      • 11 months ago

      Whoever show the photo with gorilla image is racist and has extremely bad judgment. Don't continue to support racism. Racism is bad and ugly and will continue until people stop supporting it.

      • 12 months ago

      It is self evident that all men are created equal.

    • Billy Earley CORONA, CA
      • 12 months ago

      I am a black American and I followed Dr. Head's story from the start. I am the same age as Dr. Head and I am a Physician Assistant. I am also the owner of a clinic where I work in Corona. Several Walgreen's pharmacist sent me multiple documents racially disfiguering my middle name and putting the N-word there. They also had called our clinic and said, "is Dr. Billy Nigger Earley there!" To make things worse, they have told our patients that we have, "Too Many Negritos" at our clinic and they will not fill there prescriptions. This is very bad and I am seeking help to fight agaist doing this to black doctors and medical providers in this world. God made us in his image and not in his color. I went to UCLA for a little while and to tell you the truth, "It was very uncomfortable there because you were all alone!" Dr. Head reminds me of the mayor Tom Bradley when he was the first black American to join the Los Angeles police department. They did the same thing to him but worst. The only way to stop all this racial stuff is to wed these racist people with the race that they dislike the most and then deny them divorce privileges. This may actually work if you really think about it.

    • Billy Earley CORONA, CA
      • 12 months ago

      I am a medical provider and Walgreen's called me the N-word


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