Message from Stan: Blanton Tolbert

Dean Stan Gerson

I am really excited we have the opportunity to welcome Dexter Voisin, dean of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, to the School of Medicine this Thursday, Feb. 10, at 4:30 p.m. for the MLK and Black History Month Lecture. You don't want to miss it! Please plan to attend in-person (BRB-105) or via Livestream. More information can be found here on how to attend. 
And, my thanks to Blanton Tolbert and his team in the School of Medicine Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence for inviting Dean Voisin to what will be his first CWRU public event. I have asked Blanton to pen this column ahead of Dean Voisin's visit. As Vice Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence, Blanton leads our efforts to develop and sustain inclusive policies and practices to create a culture that supports diversity, equity and inclusion. I am thankful for his leadership and partnership.  

Thank you,

Stan Gerson

Thank you, Stan, for this opportunity to connect with faculty, staff and students. 

"Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a better person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in."

These words were spoken by Martin Luther King Jr on April 18, 1959, at the Youth March for Integrated Schools. Inherent within his remarks is the fundamental truth that all people are created equal, and it is our obligation to embrace this intrinsic aspect of our humanity to realize a greater sense of belonging for every individual, regardless of birth origins. As we honor King and celebrate Black History Month, we must acknowledge that social inequalities experienced by one group affects all of us because of our shared humanity. To understand that we coexist and have a connected experience is the motivation to continuously strive to create a just and more equitable world for all.

On Thursday, the School of Medicine (SOM) has the honor to host the newest dean at Case Western Reserve University, Dexter Voisin, as our keynote lecturer for MLK and Black History Month. He has dedicated his professional career to lifting voices and telling stories of those individuals most marginalized by our society. Inspired by King's quote, "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhumane," Dean Voisin will deliver his insights on how universities and communities can work collaboratively to improve health equity among racialized groups.

Reflecting on Stan's Message from Jan. 5, I believe it is necessary for us to continue to introspect about how tribalism might limit our biomedical and health discoveries from broadly impacting all communities. I am excited to hear Dean Voisin's perspectives on how we might engage with our neighbors to achieve more equitable health outcomes for our surrounding communities, and I encourage you to take the time and do the same.

Please join me in giving Dean Voisin a warm welcome to the School of Medicine.

Thank you, 

Blanton S. Tolbert, PhD
Rudolph and Susan Rense Professor