“Can We Talk About Race?” event to kick off The Racial Equity in Medicine Elective

Hosted by the UNC School of Medicine’s Office of Inclusive Excellence, “Can We Talk About Race?” serves as a kickoff for a medical education curricular innovation and a nuanced discussion on race at the Ackland Art Museum.

The Racial Equity in Medicine Elective (REME) is designed to give medical students an opportunity to learn about racism in the health care system. In our efforts to devise an independent project to dismantle the systems of oppression at UNC School of Medicine, we are hoping to incorporate an experiential curriculum that uses art to explore race in medical education.

Art is the ideal vehicle to present contentious topics for the same reason that they are difficult to talk about –– these subjects carry an emotional charge. As opposed to a faculty-led discussion of a peer-reviewed article, we need not be equipped with the same history or premise to engage with art. Art allows us to locate our emotional response in an object and to receive others’ perspectives from common ground. And in a departure from the old model, “Can We Talk About Race?” invites white students to participate in the conversation not from a place of privilege or guilt, but as individuals who also experience and have been deeply affected by racial division.

The pilot will take place at the Ackland Art Museum on December 13, 3:30-5:00 pm. Invited attendees include student leaders and all Foundation Phase faculty, including but not limited to: Course Block Directors, Small Group Leaders, Social and Health Systems (SHS) Faculty, and Patient Centered Care (PCC) Faculty. Conversation will be facilitated by students in the Racial Equity in Medicine Elective and academic specialists from the Ackland Art Museum. To RSVP, please email bria_godley@med.unc.edu.

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