On August 2, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine convened a town hall meeting to give the campus community an opportunity to have an open discussion about recent tragedies across the country and world.
“Over the last several weeks, various members of our diversity council and diversity office have received input from students, staff and faculty regarding societal issues that have not been completely addressed; members of our community have requested a venue to more fully address the events and express their feelings and concerns,” said Clyde Yancy, MD, MSc, vice dean for Diversity and Inclusion at Feinberg.
Yancy encouraged attendees to think differently about issues being discussed during the meeting’s open dialogue, introducing Lesley-Ann Brown-Henderson, PhD, executive director of Campus Inclusion and Community (CIC) for Northwestern University.
Brown-Henderson served as facilitator for the conversation. She helped navigate the various opinions, feelings and concerns that were raised during the meeting and guided attendees through engagement exercises. The overarching theme of discussion, especially within the medical community, was about the sanctity of life.
CIC works collaboratively with the university community to cultivate inclusive learning environments through the intentional engagement with difference. As executive director, Brown-Henderson oversees and responds to bias incidents on campus and works with the Northwestern community to engage in ongoing dialogues centered on social justice and inclusion.
Many attendees said they appreciated the opportunity for an open dialogue and were pleased that Northwestern offered a campus opportunity to respond and reflect.