VP&S Equity and Justice Fellowship
The mission of the VP&S Equity and Justice Fellowship is to increase equity and justice through curricular programming. Each year, the fellowship class works with Dr. Hetty Cunningham (Director of Equity and Justice in Curricular Affairs) on a variety of projects determined by the fellowship group, critically applying an anti-racist lens to the VP&S curriculum. Please see below for current and past fellows and ongoing projects.
The VP&S Equity and Justice program was established in 2020 to create a central structure for ongoing work in anti-racist curricular programing. The fellowship was established to engage students in school efforts to create a more equitable and just curriculum at VP&S. By offering these funded fellowships, VP&S seeks to take a step toward countering systemic racism and other unjust power imbalances that continue to oppress large swaths of the population and crucially result in adverse health outcomes and distrust of the medical system.
The 2021 Fellows are currently working on the following group projects:
- Developing a longitudinal anti-racism thread for the Foundations of Clinical Medicine (FCM) pre-clinical course
- Assisting with an inaugural Anti-Racism Curriculum Summit (February 17, 2021)
- Collaborating with faculty to evaluate medical student assessment in the clinical curriculum
Any other questions/comments? Send us an email at EquityandJusticeFellows@cumc.columbia.edu
Hetty Cunningham, MD
Cameron Clarke (VP&S 2024)
Cameron Clarke, originally from Jersey City, NJ, is a first-year medical student at VP&S. As an undergraduate at Howard University, and later as a graduate student at the University of Oxford, Cameron worked in health education and health policy at the Baltimore City Health Department, Children's National Hospital, the National Institutes of Health, the United States House and Senate, and the DC Superintendent of Education, among others. At Columbia, Cameron serves on the University Senate, and helps coordinate Columbia’s chapters of White Coats for Black Lives, Primary Care Progress, Public Health Commute, and the Columbia VP&S Family Medicine Interest Group. In addition to his on-campus work, Cameron is a policy fellow at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, where he conducts health policy and equity research. As an Equity and Justice Fellow, he hopes to bring an anti-racist viewpoint to his work with Columbia.
Current Individual Projects: Designing and implementing a session on protecting the privacy and safety of undocumented patients and patients presenting in police or prison custody; collaborating with Public Health Commute on incorporating racial justice and health disparities education into the medical school curriculum
JD Douchee is a medical student in the VP&S Class of 2025 from Chicago, Illinois. He pursued his undergraduate studies at Dartmouth College where he majored in Black Studies. His interest in creating community-centered forums of healthcare access for underserved and often exploited Black communities and other communities of color guides his interest in the medical field. Prior to medical school, he worked in the Chicagoland area as an Emergency Medical Technician and pursued his post-baccalaureate studies at Northwestern University. At VP&S, JD is a class representative for the Addiction Information and Management Strategies (AIMS) Council, helps coordinate Columbia’s chapter of White Coats for Black Lives, and serves as a member of the VP&S cohort of the multi-institutional project Anti-Racist Transformation in Medical Education. Alongside other Equity and Justice fellows, JD aims to disrupt systems of racism and oppression that cloak the medical curriculum and the medical campus.
Spencer Dunleavy is a medical student in the VP&S class of 2023. Originally from Philadelphia, he attended Harvard University as an undergraduate, where he conducted research on treating children experiencing homelessness as well as fundraising for nonprofit organizations serving low-income children. After college, he completed masters degrees at the University of Oxford, where his work focused on how medical schools affect medical students’ attitudes toward those experiencing homelessness, evaluating medical school curricula toward addressing discrimination and microaggressions, and the role of comprehensive social services for people living with HIV/AIDS. At Columbia, he helped to lead the First Generation and Low Income Partnership (FLIP), served as Director of Analytics for VotER in order to bring voting access to patients around the country, mentors first-generation and low income pre-medical students at Harvard and Columbia, and co-leads the Public Health Commute. He will be applying to become a family medicine doctor with a plan to work in underserved communities as a primary care physician.
Gabrielle Wimer is a medical student in the VP&S Class of 2025. She grew up in Westport, CT and attended the University of Chicago where she studied the History, Philosophy, and Social Study of Science and Medicine as well as Human Rights. Before medical school, Gabrielle worked in global health and education in Guatemala and Jordan. She is Class President, programming coordinator for Columbia’s Human Rights and Asylum Clinic, and an active member of Columbia’s chapters of White Coats for Black Lives and Students for a National Health Program. As an Equity and Justice Fellow, she is excited to contribute to the development of an anti-racist curriculum that will prepare physicians to care for all their patients and that will equip them with the skills and knowledge to be advocates for change.
- Taiwo Alonge, VP&S 2021
- Laura Benoît, VP&S 2022
- Toluwani Dawodu, VP&S 2022
- Lauren Fields, VP&S 2022
- Jessica Ho, VP&S 2023
- Veronica Kane, VP&S 2023
- Emily McNeill, VP&S 2022
- Ahmed Owda, VP&S 2022
- Cassie Tarleton, VP&S 2022