Curricular Innovation Kickoff Event Hosted at the Ackland Art Museum

On Thursday, December 13, 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?” served as a kickoff event for a medical education curricular innovation.

On Thursday, December 13, 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?” served as a kickoff event for a medical education curricular innovation. The program uses art as a vehicle through which to address race and inequality, and will be incorporated into Social and Health Systems (SHS), a longitudinal class in the UNC SOM curriculum.

Crazy Quilt,” an installation by Lauren Frances Adams, 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, where attendees either reflected on the discussion or participated in further discussions centering around the artist Glenn Ligon’s etchings.

Anonymous feedback was collected throughout the event. When asked if the event felt different from other conversations surrounding race at UNC, one attendee wrote, “This has been profoundly different from other conversations I’ve had about race. The use of art to not only frame, but explore deeply the difficult topics surrounding race was both emotionally moving and compelling. This curricular innovation would be instrumental in moving the conversation forward among folks in medicine.”

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.

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