Dr Hildreth Email ImageAt the end of January, the School of Medicine’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion hosted the annual “Second Look” weekend. During this time, minority students underrepresented in medicine (URiM) considering residencies at UAB were invited to join current students and faculty for Diversity Grand Rounds, featuring James E.K. Hildreth, Ph.D, MD.

In addition to hearing Dr. Hildreth inspire listeners through “The Transformative Power of ‘ONE,’” prospects were encouraged to participate in the fun of our annual diversity fair, as well as attend a reception that recognized the critical contributions of URiM faculty at UAB School of Medicine.

During Dr. Hildreth’s in-depth talk, he spotlighted the motivational stories of two people who chose to make a difference—Esther McCready and Levi Watkins. These individuals helped pave the way for diversity and inclusion in medicine.

Without Esther McCready’s willingness to stand up to the University of Maryland School of Nursing, future generations of African-American students could have gone unnoticed. Prior to Dr. Levi Watkins Jr.'s position on the admissions committee, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine enrolled approximately 0-1 African-American students per year into their program. If it wasn't for Watkins's curiosity and relentless pursuit of inclusivity, the African-American students enrolled at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the fall of 1979, would not have been as representative—14 students of 120 (11.67%).

Second look weekend is one of the many ways the School of Medicine Office for Diversity and Inclusion strives to make UAB an inclusive environment for all. As students and faculty continue on their journey for knowledge, it’s important to reflect on Dr. Hildreth’s message and consider how every person can be transformative.

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.