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Day of Discovery, Dialogue & Action: Medical Campus to host sessions Feb. 19 & 20

February 15, 2019

Two days of panels, discussions and learning opportunities will highlight conversations that inspire action long after event concludes.

Washington University students, faculty and staff are invited to the 2019 Day of Discovery, Dialogue and Action. Now in its fifth consecutive year, the event is an opportunity to reflect on how we can strengthen our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Sessions will be held on both the Medical and Danforth campuses.

Day of Discovery, Dialogue & Action: Dialogues Across Difference
February 19 & 20, 2019

Watch livestream

Medical Campus sessions

Moving Beyond Labels: A Conversation About Diversity, Bigotry & Common Humanity (keynote)

Feb. 19, 2019 | 5 – 6:45 p.m.
Eric P. Newman Education Center

Keynote speaker:
Irshad Manji is an internationally acclaimed advocate, scholar, educator and best-selling author. She is the founder of the Moral Courage Project, an initiative that aims to help young people speak truth to power within their own communities. Her latest book, Don’t Label Me: An Incredible Conversation for Divided Times, will release later this month.

Conversation and Q&A:
Led by Sherree Wilson, PhD, Associate Vice Chancellor and Associate Dean of Diversity, School of Medicine; featuring Ruth Durrell, student at Washington University; R. Marie Griffith, John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities; Jessica Pittman, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonary Medicine; Averey Strong, Third-Year Class President (medical education)

Reception and book signing to follow.


Segregation in St. Louis: Dismantling the Divide

Feb. 20, 2019 | 12 – 1:30 p.m.
Holden Auditorium, Farrell Learning and Teaching Center

Michelle Whitthaus, program manager, Health Equity Works

St. Louis is among the most segregated regions in the country. Geographically-based housing divisions further inequities for residents who already experience limited access to quality education, job opportunities, health care, retail, transportation, clean air, empowering social networks, and other critical resources.

This session will cover a brief history of our region’s use of segregation housing policies and practices and provide key recommendations to help rebuild our communities and dismantle our significant divides. Attendees will discuss the policy recommendations in the areas of affordable housing; equitable development and allocation of resources.


The Ordinary Origins of Bias

Feb. 20, 2019 | 4:30 – 6 p.m.
Connor Auditorium, Farrell Learning and Teaching Center

Calvin Lai, PhD, assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences

The Ordinary Origins of Bias Conscious experience provides an immediate, compelling and incomplete account of mental life. Much of how we think and act is shaped by mental activity that occurs outside of conscious awareness or control. Because of that, evaluations of others can be subtly influenced by factors that we do not recognize and may not value.

This session has three parts: 1) demonstrations of how incomplete access or control of our minds influences social judgment; 2) examples of how this can translate into racial and gender biases within medicine; and 3) hands-on discussion about practices for preventing bias in everyday situations.


Additional sessions and events

Day of Discovery, Dialogue & Action 2019
See full agenda »

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Find more events on the Medical Campus »

People of all abilities are welcome and encouraged to attend all Washington University School of Medicine sponsored events. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact the Washington University School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in advance at 314-273-2809 or