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Invitation to Human Rights and Equity Awards with Circus artist

Dean Reznick, Dr. Mala Joneja, & Edward Thomas Awarded the Queen’s University Human Rights Initiative Award

This spring, Faculty of Health Sciences Dean Reznick, Dr. Mala Joneja (Department of Medicine) and Queen’s staff and PhD candidate, Edward Thomas (Cultural Studies) will receive the Queen’s University Human Rights Initiative Award for their work on the creation of the Commission on Black Medical Students. 

In 1918, Queen’s School of Medicine banned black students. In 2019, as a result of Edward Thomas’ research on the subject, Dean Reznick and former Queen’s Principal Daniel Wolfe signed a public apology for this discriminatory policy. You can read more about Edward Thomas’ research on the ban and the public apology here

Realizing this was an area of need, Dean Reznick went on to form the Commission on Black Medical Students, made up of faculty, students, and staff from Queen’s, including Dr. Joneja and Edward Thomas, in order to address the historical injustice. The Commission’s work included personal letters of apology to each of the families affected by the ban, changes made to the Undergraduate Medical Program curriculum, as well as an honorary degree presented to the family of a student affected by the ban, Ethelbert Bartholomew. The Commission on Black Medical Students remains active under the leadership of Dr. Joneja as chair, and their work on this important initiative continues, including an upcoming symposium and an exhibition at the School of Medicine.

The Human Rights and Equity Office outlined reasons as to why this team was chosen for the award:

  • Has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of equality and human rights at Queen's University
  • Championing initiatives which will enhance a sense of belonging for racialized students
  • Positively impacting the Queen’s community through introducing new curriculum

The Faculty of Health Sciences is proud to congratulate Dean Reznick, Dr. Joneja, and Edward Thomas on their award for their ground-breaking work. Join us on March 3rd, 2020 for the reception where Principal Patrick Deane will present the awards.

The awards reception details:

Date: March 3rd, 2020

Time: 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Location: Rose Innovation Room, Mitchell Hall

Keynote address: Erin Ball, Circus Artist and Coach

Registration link: Human Rights and Equity Office, 2019 Tri-Awards Celebration