Graduate School of Medical Sciences
A partnership with the Sloan Kettering Institute
SJAR 2024

The mission of the Social Justice and Anti-Racism (SJAR) Task Force is to promote the success and proportional representation of researchers and clinicians from underrepresented minorities at every level of Weill Cornell Graduate School (WCGS); to dismantle systemic racism and champion social justice at WCGS and beyond.

General Goals:

  • Create a welcoming environment for scholars of all backgrounds. 

  • Increase the representation of underrepresented scholars at all levels.

5 Target Areas:

1. Combat racism and promote social justice at WCGS

2. Increase recruitment of BIPOC scientists to WCGS

3. Support and promote the retention and inclusion of BIPOC scientists at WCGS

4. Create open discussion and safe spaces for all members of WCGS

5. Increase WCGS educational outreach and opportunities for BIPOC students in our local community


SJAR Co-Chairs

SJAR Co-chairs

SJAR Mini-Grant


The mini-grant serves to fund trainee-led initiatives in line with SJAR's five target areas. The following students have been awarded: 

  • TIMS SPUR Extension - Jude Owiredu, Whitney Sisso, and Stephen Ruiz
  • Menstrual Hygiene Kits - Anisah Alladeen and Angelyse Cardona
  • Food Vouchers for the High School Catalyst Program - Clare Cahir and Victoria Rasmussen
  • Anything but Academia - Valerie Gallegos (TIMS)
  • SEED @ Roland Patterson Middle School - Leandro Martinez and Kata Alilovic 
  • Anti-Racism Zine - Nick Walker
  • Pre-Health Dreamers' Annual Conference - Melissa Yanez

SJAR Events:

2020 Events

Kickoff event

Open Dialogue on Systemic Racism in America - Wednesday, 10/07/2020, 5-6pm EDT - a critical examination of the structural racism deeply ingrained within American society. We will reflect upon the documentary film “13th” that explores the extension of slavery-era racism into the modern guises of police brutality and mass incarceration. We will also review ideas about overcoming this institutionalized racism, as discussed by social science experts at the Cornell webinar on Policing & Incarceration in September. 

2nd event

Open Dialogue on Anti-Racist Activism - Thursday, 10/22/2020, 5-6pm EDT - focusing on the harrowing impacts of racism on individuals and the different approaches of antiracist resistance taken by activists during the Civil Rights movement. We will reflect upon the documentary film “I Am Not Your Negro” and take an in-depth look at 4 iconic leaders - James Baldwin, Medgar Evars, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

3rd event

Book Club on “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison - Thursday, 11/19/2020, 6-7pm EST - Deeper thoughts and feelings are better captured and conveyed in book-length stories and expositions. In addition to film-inspired events, we will also host Book Clubs to encourage in-depth engagement with issues and stories. Our 1st book club will feature “The Bluest Eye” (1970), the first novel by Toni Morrison, a Cornell graduate (‘55) and Nobel laureate in Literature (‘93), commemorating the 50th anniversary of its publication. The book centers on issues of internalized racism and the society’s racially prejudiced definitions of beauty and identity.

4th event

Faculty-Trainee Open Dialogue - Wednesday, 12/10/2020, 5:30-6:30pm EST - As part of our effort to foster a community of belonging and mutual respect, we will initiate a series of Faculty-Student Dialogue events, where one faculty and one student will be featured at each event to chat openly about their backgrounds and personal journeys, to break down the barriers of understanding and build trust/camaraderie across the ranks. Open to all faculty, students, and postdocs. The SOS Faculty-Student/Postdoc Dialogue Series will continue on a monthly basis in 2021.




Co-Chair speaks on the SJAR Task Force [01:00]

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