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.
Keyanna Jackson is a third-year medical student at Columbia VP&S. She is originally from North Carolina and graduated from Yale University with a major in Latin American Studies. Prior to medical school, she served as Chief Postgraduate Research Coordinator with Yale Cardiology and learned more about clinical and translational research while working specifically in heart failure research. Here at Columbia VP&S, she served as President of the Black and Latino Student Organization, worked as program facilitator for the Summer Health Professional Education Program, an initiative to support college students from underrepresented backgrounds interested in healthcare, and was selected as a member of the 2020 Columbia VP&S Anti-Racism Task Force. Keyanna is excited to join the team of Equity and Justice fellows, and brings her passion and dedication to continue efforts towards an anti-racist medical education here at VP&S and beyond. Hobbies include exploring restaurants, Netflix, and dance.
Grace Pipes is a medical student in the VP&S class of 2023. She was raised in Templeton, California and attended Carleton College where she studied Geology. During undergraduate, she co-founded a student-led organization that trains students to serve as abortion doulas for a diverse patient population at two local abortion clinics in the Twin Cities, MN. Being an abortion doula led her to a career in medicine with a particular focus on reproductive justice. At Columbia, she helped lead Medical Students for Choice, American Medical Women’s Association, Association of Women Surgeons, and the harm reduction student-run free-clinic, Columbia Care Access Project. She also joined the Unmuted Series—the Intersection of Race, Reproductive Justice, and Family Planning—planning committee under the national Medical Students for Choice Organization, which is an ongoing series of webinars dedicated to exploring the history of reproductive violence and oppression facing the Black community and examining how this legacy of racism endures today along the entire reproductive healthcare spectrum. She will be applying to become an obstetrician/gynecologist with a plan to provide anti-racist family planning services in her future practice.
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