Build 2 Lead, in partnership with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health (VMFH), the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) and Why Not You Academy (WNYA), hosted the first annual Melanin in Medicine celebration. The educational event was created to provide access for students to explore careers in healthcare and connect with black and brown healthcare professionals.
The day’s intentional agenda, curated by team members of B2L , MSM, and WNYA, included performances by the Black Student Union and breakout sessions led by VMFH and MSM, with presentations on mental health wellness, career navigation, battling discrimination, and personal HBCU (Historically Black College & University) experiences.
The event was a huge success! Students, families, healthcare professionals, and clinicians were able to connect and explore health industry jobs, educational pathways, and build relationships with BIPOC clinicians and professionals.
“It was a beautiful event filled with joy, opportunity, connections, community, celebrations and love! It was a powerful vibe,” remarked Najmah Messiah, manager, Radiology Support Services, VMMC.
The Melanin in Medicine event was also another way Build 2 Lead works to build important partnerships in the community. By partnering with groups like VMFH and MSM, Build 2 Lead is able to expose students to learning and educational experiences in areas that have been previously historically limited.
Events like Melanin and Medicine are just the beginning for B2L. The non-profit is planning other cultural and educational events, like it’s second annual P.O.W.E.R. Conference later this year. The goal is to provide as many opportunities for students and the greater community to empower, engage, and educate by lifting collective skills and social capital. It’s just one aspect of B2L, who also offers afterschool and summer programs for students that focus on financial literacy, activism, and entrepreneurship.