Skip to main content.

Black History Month

Each year, KU Medical Center commemorates Black History Month with events and community spotlights to honor and remember Black history while engaging in meaningful conversations and celebrations. Learn more about how you can get involved.

Black History Month at KU Medical Center Events and Activities

2022 Black History Month Events & Activities (PDF)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Week of Service

January 17 – January 24

Honor Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dedication to racial equality during our weeklong event. As part of our diversity efforts, we are asking our campus community to learn more and to give back to our communities. Share your thoughts and experiences on social media using the hashtag #KUMC_honors_MLK.


Ongoing Opportunities

Dine at a Black-owned business

Grab a meal or snack at a Black-owned business. View a list of Black-owned restaurants in the Kansas City area or in the Wichita area.

Give back

Take part in a donation drive to help local agencies in Kansas City and Wichita collect much-needed items. View the Kansas City wish list and the Wichita wish list for details about shipping or dropping off your donations.

Take a historical tour

Take time with friends and family to explore sites in Kansas and Missouri and learn about their importance to Black and African American history.

Read stories from KU Medical Center community members

Read brief biographical spotlights about Black and African American faculty, staff, residents and students to learn about community members’ backgrounds, careers and what brought them to KU Medical Center. View spotlights online (coming soon) or follow KU Medical Center Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on social media (@kumcdei) for stories and photos all month long.

Explore digital exhibits

View interactive exhibits about the desegregation of KU School of Medicine in 1938 and the first Black graduates of the schools of Health Professions, Medicine and Nursing.


Beyond Vietnam - A Time to Break Silence against Structural Violence

In honor of the 55th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “A Time to Break Silence” speech, we are hosting a panel discussion. This landmark speech was the first time Dr. King publicly spoke out against the Vietnam War. The speech attempted to connect domestic racial injustice to American imperial injustice all over the world; it is one of his most intellectually and morally uncompromising speeches. Our panel discussion will highlight the importance of this address and highlight the areas we need to break the silence against today. Panelists include Shawn Alexander, Ph.D., Jason Glenn, Ph.D., Randal Jelks, Ph.D., Nicole Hodges Persley, Ph.D., Sharla Smith, Ph.D., MPH, and Lynette Sparkman-Barnes, Psy.D.

Jayhawk Coffee Break

As we kick off Black History Month, join us during a special Jayhawk Coffee Break for the opportunity to connect with your colleagues. Our coffee break will highlight the faculty, staff and learners featured in the Black History Month biographical spotlights.

Community Conversation – Turning the Page

February 8, noon - 12:50 p.m., 2022

Join us on Tuesday, February 8th at noon for a Community Conversation - Turning the Page event. Community Conversation- Turning the Page is a book discussion lead by Dr. Kristina Bridges. For this series, we will be focusing on the book "The Sum of Us" by Heather McGhee. Reading the book is encouraged but not required to attend. Continuing education credit is available.

Clinical Culture and Diversity Series

February 15, noon – 1:00 p.m., 2022

The Clinical Culture and Diversity Series explores issues related to inter-cultural communication in the clinical setting. Professor Joan Lewis-Wambi will be presenting on the “Complexity of Triple Negative Breast Cancer in African American Women.”

Black History Month Research Day

February 22, 10 a.m.- 12:30 p.m., 2022

Learn about the research conducted by KU’s Black and African American faculty, staff and learners. The Dr. Patricia A. Thomas Keynote Address by Dr. Wayne Frederick, President of Howard University.

Black History Month: Alvin Ailey Event

February 23, 2022

In honor of Black History Month, KU Medical Center partnered with the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey. During this event, attendees learned about how narrative medicine promotes healing while enjoying a beautiful performance.

The Color of Medicine Panel Discussion

February 24, 2022

In honor of Black History Month, the Student National Medical Association hosted a panel discussion on the film “The Color of Medicine: Homer G. Phillips Hospital.” The panel was moderated by KU School of Medicine students; panelists include Jason Glenn, Ph.D., Lynette Sparkman-Barnes, Psy.D., Executive Producer and Co-Director Joyce Fitzpatrick, and Co-Director Brian Shackleford. 

Past Event Information

2021 Event Recordings

View all videos on YouTube, or view the playlist below.


February 3: Jayhawk Coffee Break

As we kick-off Black History Month, join us during a special Jayhawk Coffee Break for the opportunity to connect with your colleagues. Our coffee break will highlight the faculty, staff, and students featured on the Black History Month biographical posters.

February 9: Community Conversation

Turning the Page: "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" by Beverly Daniel Tatum
Systemic racism has a major impact on health disparities in America. Join us for discussion on the Introduction, Chapter 1, and Chapter 2 on the book, "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?", by Beverly Daniel Tatum. The discussions are led by Kristina Bridges, Ph.D., senior research associate in family medicine and community health research division.

February 12: Student National Medical Association -Student of Color Panel: Sharing our Stories

KU Medical Center students of color share their educational journeys to entering the School of Health Professions, School of Medicine, and School of Nursing. Participants will have the ability to engage in a meaningful discussion on how to navigate admittance into a professional school.

February 16: History of Desegregation at KU Medical Center Panel

Dr. Jason Glenn, Associate Professor in History and Philosophy of Medicine, will moderate a panel who will be discussing, "The History of Black and African American Students at KU Medical Center." Our panel members will be invited to share with us their experiences in those early years and perspectives that will help our audience appreciate our history and the work ahead.

February 17: KU Health System - Black History Month Virtual Prayer Breakfast
February 18: Healing and Unity Event

Dr. Rodney Smith and Stephenie Smith will deliver a keynote address addressing how the Black and African American community can heal from the harm caused by society, harm caused among one another within the Black and African American community, and how we can unite as a community to heal. Participants will engage in a healing and unifying community activity.

February 19: Clinical Culture and Diversity Series

Legacies of ‘The Venus Hottentot": Black Women's Bodies in Culture & Medicine
The Clinical Culture and Diversity Series explores issues related to inter-cultural communication in the clinical setting. University of Kansas Professor and President of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars, Dr. Anatol will be our featured presenter.

February 23: Faculty of Color Panel: Sharing our Stories

KU Medical Center faculty of color will share their educational journey, professional, and personal experiences that relate to their development as faculty. Participants will have the ability to engage in a meaningful discussion on how to navigate as future leaders in the healthcare industry and broaden their mentor network.

February 23: Black History Month Research Day

Learn about the research conducted by KU's Black and African American Faculty, Staff, Residents, and Students. Digital Posters and Presentations followed by a luncheon and The Dr. Patricia A. Thomas Keynote Address by Dr. Consuelo Wilkins, Professor of Medicine, Vice President for Health Equity, and Associate Dean for Health Equity at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

February 24: Student National Medical Association - Behind COVID panel: Medical Distrust in the Black Community

Join the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) as they host a panelist of experts who will address COVID-19 and the medical distrust in the Black Community.

February 25: Student National Medical Association and Socially Responsible Surgeons - MAPS Panel: A Day in the Life of a Surgeon

Join the Socially Responsible Surgeons (SRS) and Student National Medical Association (SNMA) will host a panel of surgeons who will provide insight into their everyday lives.

February 26: Student National Medical Association and Socially Responsible Surgeons

Dr. Jason Glenn Presentation on the Utilization of Enslaved Bodies in Medicine.

January 20: Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service

Join friends and colleagues for a day of Join service honoring the life and achievements of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

February 4: Jayhawk Coffee Break

The Black History Month Advisory Group is an extension of the Vice Chancellor’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Cabinet Programming Committee. Members will be on hand to share information about their current activities and events. 

February 6: Black Archives of Mid‐America

(1722 E. 17th Terrace, KCMO 64106)
Dr. Jason Glenn, Associate Professor in History and Philosophy of Medicine, will present “Policing as a Source of Health Inequity: The Racial Foundations of Criminal Justice in America.” A reception and tour of the Archives museum (located in the 18th and Vine Jazz
District) will follow.

Clendening History of Medicine Exhibit

Murphy Lobby and School of Nursing Atrium
See stories of the first African American students to graduate from KU Schools of Health Professions, Medicine and Nursing.

February 12: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Cabinet Meeting

The quarterly meeting of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Cabinet will include reports and information on their strategic action items.

Student National Medical Association Events

SNMA plans events throughout the week of February 17‐21. Special Presentation given by
Dr. Akinlolu Ojo, Executive Dean of KU School of Medicine, Feb. 18, Noon.

February 25: Black History Month Research Day

Learn about the research conducted by KU’s Faculty and Students of Color. Digital Posters and Presentations followed by a luncheon and The Dr. Patricia A. Thomas Keynote Address: 2019 State of Black Kansas City by Ms. Gwen Grant of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City.

Additional Opportunities

Check out other events organized by the Black Archives of Mid‐America in Kansas City.

Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

University of Kansas Medical Center
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Mailstop 2015
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160
Phone: 913-588-3319
Fax: 913-588-1412