Medical and Doctoral Students Engage in Storytelling Event in Honor of Black History Month

February 28, 2024 by

4 Students on panel for School of Medicine Black History MonthOn February 21, the School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and UVA Health’s Office of Diversity and Community Engagement co-sponsored a storytelling event in honor of Black History Month that featured four School of Medicine students who discussed their paths to UVA School of Medicine. The panelists included Synphane Gibbs-Shelton, a PhD student in pharmacology, Bryana Harris, a PhD student in biomedical engineering, and medical students Aaliyah Meade and Simon White.

During the discussion, panelists touched on a variety of topics including: feelings of imposter syndrome and how they overcome those; experiences with micro/macro-aggressions; how they balance being student leaders and staying on top of their work; how the institution helps connect them with mentors; how to pick mentors; and how they will continue their work of building inclusive communities and fostering a sense of belonging particularly among those who are from minoritized identities. Audience members included undergraduates from UVA and outside of UVA, current medical and graduate students, and a pre-health advisor affiliated with another university.

The storytelling event’s mission was to acknowledge, bring awareness, and celebrate the 2024 Black History Month Theme; Racial Healing: The Heart of Racial Equity. The School of Medicine is dedicated to cultivating an inclusive environment with our Black patients, visitors, team members, students and neighbors as we strive to create a sense of belonging to realize our vision “to be the nation’s leading public academic health system and a best place to work — while transforming patient care, research, education, and engagement with the diverse communities we serve.” The goal is to recognize the history of racial disparities and health inequities within our medical systems and seek authentic solutions that empower holistic healing as we implement diversity, equity, and inclusion into School of Medicine clinical, education, research and community pillars.

Next Storytelling Event: Honoring Women’s History Month in March

The next storytelling event in honor of Women’s History Month featuring School of Medicine students will take place virtually on Thursday, March 7, 7-8 p.m. eastern time. To register, please complete this form.



Filed Under: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Education