On Thursday, October 3, UNC School of Medicine administrators, students, and faculty gathered to discuss race through art at the Ackland Art Museum. Hosted by UNC SOM’s Office of Inclusive Excellence, “Can We Talk About Race?” serves as an annual event showcasing a medical education curricular innovation.
On Thursday, October 3, UNC School of Medicine administrators, students, and faculty gathered to discuss race through art at the Ackland Art Museum. Hosted by UNC SOM’s Office of Inclusive Excellence, “Can We Talk About Race?” serves as an annual event showcasing a medical education curricular innovation. The program uses art as a vehicle through which to address race and inequality, and is being incorporated into Social and Health Systems (SHS), a longitudinal class in the UNC SOM curriculum. This work evolved from a student project led by Diana Dayal and Bria Godley with the Ackland in the fall 2018 Racial Equity in Medicine Elective (REME).
“Project LHAXX,” a mixed-media experience by Intergalactic Soul, served as a focal point for a discussion led by Elizabeth Manekin, Head of University Programs and Academic Projects at the Ackland. The remainder of the session consisted of breakout groups led by medical student facilitators, where attendees either reflected on the discussion or participated in further discussions centering around the artist Kara Walker’s The Means to an End…A Shadow Drama in Five Acts.
When asked to share more about the project, Manekin said: “The Ackland partners with the medical school in so many critical ways, from building skills of observation and collective problem solving to cultivating greater capacity for empathy and reflection. This partnership complements that work, but is different in that it is student-driven. I have been blown away by the students’ dedication to this project. They show up to spend more time with the art, learning how to lead difficult conversations, researching the pieces, scheduling additional time to practice, all with an eye toward curricular innovation and structural change. The Ackland is committed to supporting them and to being a space for these important, oftentimes difficult conversations.”
This event was developed by two medical students, Diana Dayal and Bria Godley, in partnership with Stephanie Brown in the Office of Inclusive Excellence, Mimi Chapman at the School of Social Work, and Elizabeth Manekin at the Ackland Art Museum. A reception following the event was held in honor of the late Dr. Paul Alphonso Godley, the original creator of this project.