A crucial reckoning was initiated when the COVID-19 pandemic began to expose and intensify long-standing racial/ethnic health inequities, all while various sectors of society pursued racial justice reform. As a result, there has been a contextual shift towards broader recognition of systemic racism, and not race, as the shared foundational driver of both societal maladies. This confluence of issues is of particular relevance to Black populations disproportionately affected by the pandemic and racial injustice. In response, institutions have initiated diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts as a way forward. This article considers how the dual pandemic climate of COVID-19-related health inequities and the racial justice movement could exacerbate the time and effort tax on Black faculty to engage in DEI efforts in academia and biomedicine. We discuss the impact of this tax on career advancement and well-being, and introduce an operational framework for considering the interconnected influence of systemic racism, the dual pandemics, and DEI work on the experience of Black faculty. If not meaningfully addressed, the time and effort tax could contribute to Black and other underrepresented minority faculty leaving academia and biomedicine - consequently, the very diversity, equity, and inclusion work meant to increase representation could decrease it.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14
JournalJournal of Clinical and Translational Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 13 Sep 2023


  • Minority tax
  • diversity
  • equity
  • health inequities
  • inclusion
  • racial justice
  • time and effort tax
  • workforce diversity


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