Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

African American/black history month

African American/Black History Month is an annual celebration taking place each February to celebrate the achievements of African Americans throughout history in the fields of science, art, politics, education, health, and more. It is also a time to pay tribute to the many generations of African Americans – past and present – who have and continue to struggle with adversity.

NEOMED is proud to continue its annual observation of African American History Month with the following campus-wide events.

Past Schedule of events

Check back soon for the 2024 schedule of events!

Vitals: Dr. Yoleetah Ilodi, Internist & Geriatrician at Summa Health

February 2 at noon via Zoom

Yoleetah Ilodi, M.D., FACP, associate professor of internal medicine in the NEOMED College of Medicine, is the next VITALS speaker.

Dr. Ilodi was named the first assistant dean of diversity in the College of Medicine in January 2021. In that role she has provided leadership, oversight and strategic vision for policies and initiatives to promote inclusive and equitable learning and working environment for students, faculty and staff in the College. She is a graduate of the Fellowship in Academic Medicine and serves on the College’s admissions committee. She currently practices internal medicine and geriatrics for Summa Health, where she also leads diversity efforts.

Every month, health care thought leaders are given 17 minutes – the average duration of a physician-patient visit – to engage medical professionals and students on any of the VITALS topics: Value-based, Innovation, Technology, Advocacy, Leadership, Service.

Health Disparities in Ohio

February 6 from 12:15-1:00pm in the Watanakunakorn Auditorium

Join Angela Dawson, Executive Director from the Ohio Commission on Minority Heath for this presentation planned by the Student National Medical Association.

The Anti-Racist OB/GYN

February 13 from 12:15pm-1:00pm in the Watanakunakorn Auditorium

The Student National Medical Association presents Dr. Kamilah Dixon, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Ohio State University for a presentation on anti-racism.

Student Paint Night!

February 15 from 6:00pm to 9:30pm in Meshel Hall

Students, please register to reserve your spot at the Paint Night with Jerome White, mixed media artist. No experience is necessary!

Black History Month Jeopardy: Hosted by Roy James II, M2

February 17 from 12:15pm to 1:00pm in Meshel Hall

You will not want to miss this lunch hour of fun and learning! Contestants will go head-to-head in Black History themed categories for their chance to win the grand prize! Whether a contestant or audience member, you will leave more knowledgeable than you came in!


2022 events included:

Support the SNMA Fundraiser
Rock your values with these pins! Proceeds will go toward future SNMA programming and more monthly initiatives that support the SNMA mission.

Make Space, Take Space Mural
Find our BHM mural representing the diversity WITHIN the Black community at NEOMED.

Wear Red, Black and Green Apparel Day!
We invite students, staff, and faculty to recognize the start of Black History Month by wearing red, black, and/or green. These colors represent the Pan-African flag, a flag adopted to symbolically unite individuals of the Black diaspora. In fact, it has been suggested that the Pan-African flag has been used as a template for African countries as they gained independence e.g. Ghana, Libya, Malawi, and more. As quoted by the UNIA, “Red is the color of the blood which men must shed for their redemption and liberty; black is the color of the noble and distinguished race to which we belong; green is the color of the luxuriant vegetation of our Motherland.”

Black History Month Speaker: Avery Ware
Avery (He/They) is a writer and educator from Lorain, Ohio. He is an adjunct professor of American History. Avery’s research, writing, and teaching interests include a Black-queering of history by interrogating social inequalities and systemic injustices throughout U.S. history, Black queer feminism, the socio-political foundations and application of the politics of desire, and popular & visual culture.

Avery is also the cohost of the podcast Drag From The Left.

Through his teaching, writing, and podcasting, Avery is dedicated to a liberatory pedagogy that centers on the voices and experiences of marginalized groups that have historically been silenced.

He holds a M.A. in American Studies from Youngstown State University and a BA in Sociology from the University of Akron.

Navigating Racial Bias in Medicine
Our very own NEOMED physicians Dr. Sonja Harris-Haywood (University Hospitals) and Dr. Yoleetah Ilodi (Summa Health System, Akron) will lead a crucial conversation about racial bias in medicine. They will provide steps that students can take to become clinically excellent, culturally competent, and socially conscious medical providers. This format will seek to highlight common racial biases in medicine, personal experiences, and the responsibilities that current students have as future providers.

Black History Jeopardy
You will not want to miss this lunch hour of food, fun, and learning. Contestants will go head-to-head in Black history themed categories for their chance to win the grand prize! Whether a contestant or audience member, you will leave more knowledgeable than you came in!

Black History Paint Night
Take a night off from studying and join your colleagues in a journey into Black art history. Participants will receive a canvas with paints, food, and instruction. Whether you are a budding Jean-Michel Basquiat or a finger-painter, this will be a wonderful cultural experience.

Drumming and Line Dance Pop-up
Follow the sound of the drums to watch a performance of African drumming. You will be able to grab a drum and join right in with our guest instructor! If you’re still feeling the beat, fall in line as we learn the Cleveland Shuffle with the SNMA board!


Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Phone: 330.325.6736
Email: diversity@neomed.edu


Employment and academic discrimination against any individual on the basis of age, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status is prohibited.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Northeast Ohio Medical University