From Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine:

Celebrating the Achievements of Women Worldwide

Women’s History Month is marked by enlightening, inspiring events and activities at KPSOM

March 31, 2022

Throughout March, KPSOM has held numerous events and activities designed to educate, inspire, and promote the many achievements of women. For instance, six KPSOM women leaders were profiled in the series “Forging a Pathway of Success in Medicine & STEM” on the school’s website. The series highlights the professional journeys of each woman leader and shares personal reflections from each. In addition, the background and accolades of varied women physicians were promoted on the school’s digital displays throughout Women’s History Month.

“I felt it was important to showcase these talented women physicians who have made great strides in science and medicine during Women’s History Month,” said Maureen Connelly, MD, MPH, KPSOM Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Community Affairs. “We shared the stories of women physicians who found the balance between their professional and personal goals, raised families, taught and mentored others, pursued their dreams, and achieved feats that many thought were unachievable.” 

On March 19, Carol Anderson, PhD, New York Times bestselling author, and chair of African American Studies at Emory University, participated in a conversation on racism, voting rights, and the Second Amendment with Lori Carter-Edwards, PhD, MPH, KPSOM Assistant Dean for Community Engagement. Dr. Anderson described voter suppression within the United States and provided historical context on complicated poll tests and poll taxes for Blacks living in the Jim Crow South. Dr. Anderson further shared how disenfranchisement, discriminatory voter identification laws, and partisan gerrymandering affect us today, and she explained how healthcare professionals can help counter voter suppression. 

The Womxn's Staff & Faculty Affinity Group hosted a Women's History Month Networking Lunch on March 21 in the KPSOM Cafeteria. The lunch included a brief history lesson on the origin of Women’s History Month by event host, Womxn’s Community Group Advisory Board Member, and KPSOM Business Operations Manager Ifeoma Dawodu, fun and thought-provoking group ice breakers facilitated by KPSOM Admissions Counselor Agasia Lanier, and a presentation on gender bias and salary disparity led by KPSOM Professor of Health Systems Science Quyen Ngo-Metzger, MD, MPH. Dr. Ngo-Metzger shared several incidents of racial, cultural, and gender-based insensitivities and microaggressions either committed by or experienced by medical professionals. Dr. Ngo-Metzger also addressed the need for diverse representation in academic settings, pay disparity between women and men, gender disparity in grant renewals, and she encouraged attendees to support career path flexibility for the advancement of women. And Dawodu lauded KPSOM Faculty Director of Inclusive Curriculum Nicole Lawson for creating an interactive Womxn’s History Month Celebration  padlet that showcases the accomplishments of many women worldwide.

On March 25, the KPSOM Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity (EID) and the EID Committee of the Student Council screened Mountains that Take Wing, a documentary that highlights the 1996 and 2008 exchanges between internationally renowned scholar, professor, and writer Angela Davis and grassroots organizer and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Yuri Kochiyama. The film explores Jim Crow laws, Japanese American internment camps, civil rights, anti-war, women’s and gay liberation movements, prison reform, the activists’ personal histories, and much more.

“There are so many incredible women who have contributed greatly to society, and I’m so pleased we could create time and space to acknowledge these achievements and help educate others about how far we have come as women and how far we still have to go,” said Dawodu.

KPSOM continues to celebrate this special time set aside to reflect on the accomplishments and courage of women of past generations and applauds the freedoms, opportunities, and achievements of women today. In 1978, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women was the first to celebrate Women’s History Week in Santa Rosa, California. This designated week included International Women’s Day (March 8). As this movement spread to other communities, a group of historians and women’s groups asked for federal recognition of Women’s History Week. President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the week of March 8, 1980, to be National Women’s History Week and Congress later designated March as Women’s History Month in 1987.