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A Virtual Dialogue About Race with the Graduate Community

June 5, 2020

Dear Students & Colleagues,

We are writing to follow up on our message to graduate students on Monday, 6/1 which mentioned the planning of a virtual dialogue about race specifically for members of the Drexel graduate community, including students, postdocs, faculty and professional staff. We'd like to continuing building on the conversations and plans for action that are already in motion following dialogues earlier this week and today. We'd like to thank and acknowledge all who have already responded and shared valuable feedback.

Our virtual dialogue has been scheduled for Wednesday, June 10th at 4 p.m. EDT via Zoom webinar.

Please click here to register* and receive the Zoom link for the 6/10 session.

[*Please note that the registration link above is a NEW link as of 10:30 a.m. Monday, 6/8. Be sure to register via the new link. Due to a technical issue, the old link is no longer active. We apologize for any inconvenience.]

The goal of this initial session is to provide a necessary space for dialogue that acknowledges the deep-rooted history of marginalization due to ingrained systemic oppression which has resulted in and is still the cause of pain within the Black community. Further, we hope to explore and establish a plan of action so that we can become more active and effective allies.

We will be joined by:

  • Kim Gholston, MHA, SPHR, Associate Vice President for Human Resources & Chief Diversity Officer
  • Ana E. Núñez, MD, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Professor in the College of Medicine
  • Leon McCrea II, MD, MPH, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Associate Professor in the College of Medicine
  • Michael Ryan, PhD, Director of Academic Support and Graduate Pipeline Programs in the Graduate College, Associate Department Head of Graduate Studies & Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental in the College of Engineering
  • And several student leaders and representatives from Drexel's graduate community

Forums addressing more specific ways to confront anti-Blackness within the Drexel graduate community itself, and within our surrounding local community relationships, are also necessary. We hope you will join us as we come together to listen carefully to your voices and reflect on efforts to enact change. We know that one dialogue is not the solution and that we must continue to put in the work.

To be very clear, we condemn institutional racism against Black Americans. We condemn police brutality and the murder of Black individuals in this country, and we stand with you because Black Lives Matter.


Elisabeth J. Van Bockstaele, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Graduate and Online Education
Dean, Graduate College

Founding Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies
Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology
College of Medicine

2019-2020 Executive Board of the Graduate Student Association
President: Karly Soldner, College of Engineering
Vice President of Operations: Amy Honnig, College of Engineering
Vice President of Academic Affairs: Guillermo Ibarrola Recalde, School of Education
Vice President of Student Life: Saurajyoti Kar, College of Engineering
Vice President of Finance: Luis Rebollar, College of Engineering
Vice President of Communications: Martin Walsh, College of Engineering
Social Chair: Nivedya Ashokan, LeBow College of Business

2019-2020 Executive Board of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Association
President: Ogan Kumova
Executive Vice President: Silvia Fernandez
Vice President of Finance: Mago Randelman
Vice President of Operations: Cassandra Spector
Vice President of Professional Development: Dillon Malloy
Vice President of Event Management: Candace Rizzi-Wisse
Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion: Shrobona Guha
Vice President of Community Outreach: Manali Potnis
Vice President of Public Relations: Jill Lawrence
Vice President of Alumni Relations: Julia Farnan

2020-2021 Executive Board of the Black Graduate Student Union
President: Matthew Shirley
Vice President: Laney Sullivan
Event Coordinator: Chelsea Webb
Immediate Past Present: Bri Guillory
Director of Global Health Programs, Alumni & Former BGSU President: Idriss Robinson

2020-2021 Executive Board of Drexel's Black Action Committee
President: Tianna Williams
Vice President: Bianca Best-Laboy
Event Coordinator: Tay Smith
Treasurer: Devon Newton
Marketing Chair: Nicole Rosemond

2020-2021 Executive Board of Drexel's Black Law Students Association
President: Tamara Dinnall
Vice President: Sydney Youngblood
Secretary: Brielle Brown
Treasurer: Charnique Johnson