February 08, 2017

School of Medicine celebrates diversity and inclusion with inaugural Diversity Fair, Grand Rounds

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2017 Diversity Fair February 2-3 marked an eventful week’s end for the School of Medicine’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion, as the wealth of diversity within the School of Medicine was celebrated at a series of events culminating in the inaugural Diversity Fair on the evening of Friday, February 3.

Diversity Day is celebrated annually coinciding with “second look weekend,” during which medical students from across the country interviewing for residency positions at UAB are invited for a second visit after a successful initial interview. Twenty-five students, invited by 10 departments, attended the second-look weekend events.

The prospective residents, along with UAB faculty, gathered at the UAB National Alumni Society House on the evening of Thursday, February 3, where food, music and conversation contributed to a festive atmosphere at the annual Minority Faculty Reception.

 “Diversity and inclusion are what allow us to seek excellence. We believe in bringing together varying experiences and backgrounds, not only to serve patients, but to pursue excellence,” said Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., F.A.C.S., senior vice president for Medicine and Dean of the School of Medicine in his remarks to attendees.

The following day, John Ruffin, Ph.D., the founding director of the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, addressed staff, faculty, students and trainees at Diversity Grand Rounds at noon in Margaret Cameron Spain Auditorium. Speaking on the topic, “Diversity and Inclusion are What Drives Innovation,” Ruffin discussed the importance of bringing a broad range of voices to the table to address challenging problems.

Ruffin with Vickers and FouadDrs. Fouad and Vickers with Dr. John Ruffin, featured speaker at Diversity Day Grand Rounds. Diversity Day events culminated with the Diversity Fair, held in the lobby of the Wallace Tumor Institute. School of Medicine departments hosted booths featuring multicultural food and décor, including country-specific artifacts, maps and tapestries.

Scores of faculty, staff and their families flocked to the Diversity Fair to enjoy the booth exhibits and wealth of food offerings. They were also entertained by local slam poets, led by Brain “Voice” Porter; singers from the Birmingham Girls Choir, and a group of Latin musicians led by Arturo La Cruz. Local artist Calvin Macon, UAB artist Shalini Saini, and Kenyan artist Diana Afandi exhibited sculpture and visual art.

“The Diversity Fair was an opportunity to demonstrate how richly diverse UAB School of Medicine truly is, and to celebrate the many ways in which we are both the same and different,” said Mona Fouad, M.D., MPH, senior associate dean for Diversity and Inclusion. “We are delighted that it was such a tremendous success, and look forward to next year’s Diversity Fair.”