Diversity & Inclusion MattersMay 28, 2020

Spring 2020

From the Vice Dean, Diversity and Inclusion

Class of 2020 Commencement

Faculty & Student Efforts During COVID-19

Awards & Recognition

In Memoriam

Diversity Recruitment Highlights


Minority Faculty Association Launches

New Student Group Forms

From the Vice Dean, Diversity and Inclusion


The Office of Diversity and Inclusion gathered virtually to celebrate the Feinberg graduating Class of 2020.

Dear Colleagues,

At this most unusual moment in our history, we pause to reflect on our COVID-19 experience as seen through the lens of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. We have on multiple prior occasions used this space to initiate change, celebrate success and inspire our aspiration for enhanced diversity and inclusion on our campus. Indeed, the body of this current newsletter highlights our Feinberg graduates (great work!!); portrays our response to COVID-19; acknowledges the stand-up job so very well executed by so many; honors our colleagues who have received noteworthy recognition; and recaps a stunning year of success. There is a palpable and relentless energy to enhance the excellence on our campus through diversity. Thank you for not only receiving our messages and news items but also for aligning with the spirit of our work. Today, however, this space carries a different functionality.

Today, we use this space to honor the countless quiet health care heroes on this campus and beyond, many of whom are of color, who have set personal safety and security aside to provide expert and compassionate care for those who fell ill to COVID-19. Driven by an ethos of service, you have risen above fear and exercised your skills with compassion, courage and competence. Thank you.

Read More »


As we congratulate and wish the Feinberg Class of 2020 well in the next chapter of their journey, we’d like to share several reflections from our graduates about their time at Feinberg, what diversity and inclusion means to them and their future plans.

Han-Wei Wu:

"The most rewarding aspects of my time at Feinberg have been my personal growth as a clinician and the relationships and connections I have made throughout my time here. Match Day was particularly meaningful because it was the culmination of many years of hard work, determination and resilience.

To me, diversity and inclusion means that individuals – regardless of background, race, ethnicity, life experiences, perspectives, etc. – have the confidence and platform to voice and share his/her/their opinions without fear of repercussions or dismissal. In addition, these voices are genuinely heard and concerns are appropriately discussed and addressed with equitable solutions implemented. I am grateful to have developed wonderful relationships with the friends I met through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) — I stayed with ODI alumni during the residency interview trail! I also greatly appreciate the support guidance that Dr. Franklin and Anita have provided to all the students in ODI. 

I look forward to my upcoming Pediatrics residency where I will have a greater role in patient care while learning as much as I can. Post-residency, I plan to complete a Pediatrics subspecialty fellowship (exact field TBD)."

Read more reflections from the Class of 2020 »


We are extremely proud of all of our Feinberg community members who have responded swiftly to the COVID-19 crisis in various ways, ranging from answering to the needs of the PPE shortages to addressing health disparities that have come to the national spotlight. Highlighted here are several points of view from members of the Feinberg community regarding their tireless efforts during the pandemic. 

June M. McKoy, MD, MPH, JD, MBA:

The COVID-19 pandemic is now an integral part of our lives. Like an over-extended visitor to our homes, it continues to overstay its welcome. As much as I am concerned about my family, I am even more concerned about the elderly patients for whom I provide continued care. As an academic geriatrician, I take care of one of the most vulnerable populations at risk for the COVID-19 infection while at the same time one of the most emotionally resilient demographics in the United States."

Read more about the efforts of our faculty and students »


Congratulations to James A. Hill, MD, FAAOS, for receiving the 2020 Diversity Award from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS). The Diversity Award recognizes members of the Academy who have distinguished themselves through their outstanding commitment to making orthopedics more representative of, and accessible to, diverse patient populations.

Read more »

Congratulations to Feinberg Class of 2020 graduate Patricia "Oby" Ekwueme, '20 MD, '20 MPH, for receiving the 2020 Daniel Hale Williams Diversity & Inclusion Student Award! Each year this award is bestowed upon one student who epitomizes the vision that leaders at Feinberg embrace about how diversity and inclusion should manifest in its culture.  

Congratulations to De’Andre Wilborn for being selected by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin to be his guest at the State of the Union Address. De’Andre is a high school senior at Westinghouse College Prep and a participant in the Northwestern Scholars program. He has received a scholarship to attend Georgetown in the fall and is interested in pursuing a career in medicine.

Read more »


We continue to mourn the loss early this year of our beloved Office of Diversity and Inclusion team member, Virginia "Gini" Bishop, MD, MPH, a leader and advocate for diversity, inclusion and equity in healthcare and medical education, and a prominent educator and physician. Read more.


The Office of Diversity and Inclusion team collaborated closely with the Office of MD Admissions to bring together Feinberg’s inaugural Advancing Diversity in Medicine (ADIM) Symposium on April 2nd. ADIM was a new, strategic addition to the existing Second Look program for admitted applicants, specifically targeted for underrepresented students in medicine. It was conducted virtually and showcased our diverse community, programs, and resources available. Thank you to all who volunteered their time and efforts to make it a success!

Despite our current global health crisis, our strategic diversity recruitment efforts have continued and we have effectively pivoted to virtual recruitment efforts. In the past few months, our Office of Diversity and Inclusion team has participated in various regional and national fairs sponsored by the Latino Medical Student Association, Stanford University Minority Medical Alliance (SUMMA), and the Student National Medical Student Association.


Upcoming Events

Webinar: A Grassroots Approach to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
June 2, noon to 1:00 p.m.

The Office of Organizational Strategy and Change (OSC) will host its next Best Practices Forum webinar session on June 2. The Best Practices Forum sessions are facilitated by staff across areas of the university.

Past Events

Below is a recap of key events that the Office of Diversity and Inclusion sponsored or supported this year for the benefit of the Feinberg and Chicago campus community.

Northwestern University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration featured Tarana Burke, founder of the “me too” movement and social justice activist. Click here to view the Dream Week 2020 keynote video (NU NetID required).

Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration featured Clyde Yancy, MD, who introduced this year’s keynote by Dinee C. Simpson, MD.

The Daniel Hale Williams Society held its first gathering of the year in January, hosted by Ike Okwuosa, MD, for an evening of mentoring and networking.

A panel on LGBTQ health was held in January which featured the star of SHOWTIME’s new LGBTQ hit comedy Work in Progress, Abby McEnany and executive director, Lilly Wachowski.

Minority Faculty Association Launches

In April 2020, Linda Suleiman, MD, launched the Minority Faculty Association (MFA) at Feinberg School of Medicine. The MFA is committed to enhancing the recruitment, retention and promotion of underrepresented minority (URM) faculty through mentorship, professional development, and networking at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. The goals of the group include providing formal leadership training and creating avenues of academic and personal growth. We kicked off our first meeting with a “virtual” meet and greet with plans for our first business meeting in June 2020. 


We are excited to announce that the Association of Native American Medical Students (ANAMS) chapter has recently launched at Feinberg. ANAMS is a student organization representing Native American graduate health professions students. It provides a resource and mentorship network for all Native Americans currently enrolled in health professional schools and strives to increase the number of Native American students in medicine. ANAMS promotes exposure and recognition of Native health issues in the medical community. ANAMS National is primarily supported by the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP).

For more information contact: Caitlin Jacobs

Check out our new twitter account and follow us @FeinbergODI!


Have an idea for the newsletter or a comment on this issue? Would you like your research to be featured? Are you an alumnus who would like to share your experience?

Contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at diversitymed@northwestern.edu.