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The UNC School of Medicine appreciates the Task Force’s work, its feedback, and recommendations. The recommendations were received and reviewed, and this status report includes important context relative to those recommendations.

Introduction to the Task Force

In recognizing the importance of preparing students and trainees to improve health equity and reduce health disparities, Dr. Julie Byerley, former Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, convened the Task Force for Integrating Social Justice into the Curriculum in October 2020 and gave it four charges.

  1. Report recommendations on the learning environment, faculty development, and curricular innovation regarding social justice topics to the Education Leadership Committee.
  2. Establish clear goals, strategies, action steps, metrics, and outcomes for enhancement of integration of social justice into the medical school curriculum and create recommendations to submit to the Education Committee for consideration.
  3. Specify the anti-racism components to the curricular pieces proposed.
  4. Identify other key partners within UNC SOM, expand the task force, and work collaboratively with those partners to make recommendations on best approaches to integrating social justice into the curricula for graduate medical education, allied health, and biological and biomedical graduate programs.


Infographic radial design representation of the Social Justice Task Force. The first ring (center) is the Core Team. The second ring is the Task Force Leadership Committee. The third ring is the Task Force which is composed of administrators, faculty, staff, and students. The last ring is the School of Medicine student community.
Task Force to Integrate Social Justice

The Task Force used a multifaceted approach to achieve its goal and recruited a diverse group of individuals for the sake of equity and inclusion. By recruiting a diverse group and using a concentric ring structure of leadership, we aimed to distribute power to all participants and allow thoughts to flow in all directions among members.

The first ring of participants was a core team made up of four individuals who were well connected to theory and practice of their respective areas, and who understood the administrative processes necessary to integrate social justice into the curriculum. The second ring was the leadership team, which included content-experts in the areas of the learning environment, curriculum, and faculty development. The third ring included the entire task force, which was composed of administrators, faculty, staff, and students who were involved in this work and could move it forward within the school. The last ring was the School of Medicine student community, in which task force members hosted town halls to keep individuals apprised of what we were doing and to receive their feedback.

The leadership team identified three key areas that would require systemic change in order to effectively integrate social justice into the medical curriculum:

  • the learning environment,
  • curricular innovation, and
  • faculty development

The task force was divided into three workgroups, each of which focused on developing recommendations in one of these three areas.

Task Force Members

Leadership team

E. Nathan Thomas III, PhD
Social Justice Strategist
Stephanie Brown, PhD, MA

Lead experts

Co-chair for Medical Curriculum
Alexa Mieses Malchuk, MD, MPH
Co-chair for Medical Curriculum
Emily Vander Schaaf, MD, MPH

Learning Environment

Georgette Dent, MD
Task Force
  • Claudis Polk, MA
  • O’Rese Knight, MD
  • Alexis Flen
  • Casey Olm Shipman, MD, MS

Curricular Innovation

Neva Howard, MD, MS
Task Force
  • Johanna Foster, MPA
  • Raul Necochea, PhD
  • Quinta Fernandes

Faculty Development

Beat Steiner, MD, MPH
Task Force
  • Giselle Corbie-Smith, MD
  • Brenda Mitchell, PhD
  • Raj Telhan, MD, MFA
  • Rasheeda Monroe, MD
  • Julia Draper, MPH

Leadership team: Provided direction for the task force

  • Chair: E. Nathan Thomas III, PhD, Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Social Justice Strategist: Stephanie Brown, PhD, MA, Strategic Manager for the Office of Inclusive Excellence

Lead experts:

  • Co-chair for Medical Curriculum: Alexa Mieses Malchuk, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Co-director of Curricular Innovation for Health Equity
  • Co-chair for Medical Curriculum: Emily Vander Schaaf, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Co-director of Curricular Innovation for Health Equity

Sub leads (small groups):

  • Learning Environment Lead: Georgette Dent, MD, Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Student Affairs
  • Curricular Innovation Lead: Neva Howard, MD, MS, Assistant Professor, Director of Learning Innovations
  • Faculty Development Lead: Beat Steiner, MD, MPH, Professor, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Student Education

Large group: Task Force

  • Faculty Development – Beat Steiner
    • Giselle Corbie-Smith, MD, MSc, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Social Medicine Director, Center for Health Equity Research Professor, Internal Medicine
    • Brenda Mitchell, PhD Associate, Professor, Associate Chair of Department of Allied Health Sciences Office of Student Services and AHEC Operations
    • Raj Telhan, MD, MFA, Clinical Assistant Professor
    • Rasheeda Monroe, MD, Wake Med Physician Practices
    • Julia Draper, MPH, Medical Student
  • Learning Environment – Georgette Dent
    • Claudis Polk, MA, Director, Office of Scholastic Enrichment and Equity Dorian Burton, EdLD, Philanthropy Executive at Kenan Family Foundation
    • O’Rese Knight, MD, Assistant Professor
    • Alexis Flen, Medical Student, Paul Godley Scholar
    • Casey Olm Shipman, MD, MS, Assistant Professor
  • Curriculum Innovation – Neva Howard
    • Johanna Foster, MPA Senior Director of Academic AffairsGary Beck Dallaghan, PhD, Director of Educational Scholarship
    • Raul Necochea, PhD, Associate Professor
    • Quinta Fernandes, Medical Student, Paul Godley Scholar

View Report

Social Justice Task Force Report and Recommendations