On Thursday, February 11 at 5 p.m. (PST), PNWU’s Student National Medical Association (SNMA), in collaboration with our Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and PNWU provost Dr. Edward Bilsky, hosted “The Burden of Race.” The interactive seminar featured discussions on race, current affairs of the country, and themes related to human psychology that allow for dehumanization while referencing psychological research and historic events. The event featured Dr. David Livingstone Smith and Dr. Subrena Smith.
Dr. David Livingstone Smith, an award-winning author and professor of philosophy at the University of New England, discussed themes from his book "On Inhumanity," which references the psychology behind dehumanization. Dr. Subrena Smith, a professor of philosophy at the University of New Hampshire, offered her own stimulating and educational perspective on evolutionary psychology, and how to tackle racial issues and resist dehumanization. Outside of speaker presentations, the interactive session also offered time for interaction from audience members.
“Healthcare does not exist within a vacuum,” explained Alan Boyd, OMS III and president of PNWU’s Class of 2022 Student Government Association (SGA). “The lives of our students, faculty and future patients are all affected by the political and social climate in America. If America is not tolerant of certain members of our society, the lives of everyone are threatened in some way or another. Everyone has a role to play in improving the current situation and future physicians and healthcare providers are uniquely positioned to be leaders in this cause. On the other hand, if our future physicians are ignorant to these issues, they are likely to contribute to the problems we will be discussing.”
“We hope that everyone involved will leave the event more educated, aware, and inspired than they were before,” said Bilal Ahsan, president of PNWU’s SNMA. “The goal is to have this event be a trailblazer for future events of this kind at PNWU. With the changing environment we currently live in, the more race conscious and culturally competent we can become, the better it is for everyone.”