Spaces & Places for Advocacy & Racial-Justice Knowledge (SPARK)

In collaboration with student, staff and faculty groups across GUMC, we will begin to hold a space for increased dialogue and connection. Starting this summer, we will engage in a collaborative effort called, “SPARK” – Spaces and Places for Advocacy & Racial-Justice Knowledge. SPARK aims to bring our community together by providing spaces to process current events, accelerating understanding around systemic racial inequities that pervade our country, developing skills for allyship, and committing to actions around advancing racial equity within our community.

SPARK has three main components: Open Spaces, Dialogues and Learn-Ins. 

This site will be updated regularly with upcoming summer events that are soon to be scheduled.


1. Open Spaces offer participants the opportunity to share, listen and reflect through forum-style engagement. Starting this summer, these events will be hosted on the third Wednesday of each month at noon and at 5 pm. 

  • Healing Circles – In addition to the campus-wide open spaces, Healing Circles will be coordinated for student, faculty, staff affinity groups requesting and needing additional safe spaces to process current events, talk with others and feel seen and heard. In the future, if you want to inquire about coordinating a Healing Circle, please email ODI at

2. Dialogues invite participants to engage in conversation and reflection through small and large breakouts sessions. These monthly events are theme-based and interactive. 

3. Learn-Ins equip participants with skills and knowledge for personal and professional development to address racial inequities and learn more cultural competency.

Upcoming Sessions: June 30, 12-1pm – Unconscious Bias Training

Upcoming Sessions: July 14, 12-1pm – Allyship Dialogue

Book Club

We are pleased to announce that we will launch a Book Club this summer cosponsored by the Office of the Diversity & Inclusion and the Medical Center Graduate Student Organization’s (MCGSO) Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Our first selected book is White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Dr. Robin DiAngelo. The book offers an historical and cultural analyses on what causes and inhibits cross-racial dialogue. This book is currently 11 weeks on the New York Times’ Best Seller List and is 154 pages.

This book club will be co-moderated by Dr. Keisha Bell, Vice Chair of Pediatrics, Inpatient Operations, Chief, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Division of Pediatric Critical Care and Dean Susan Cheng, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity & Inclusion at GUSOM. Students, staff and faculty across GUMC will also serve as small group discussion leaders.

If you are interested in joining the book club this summer, which starts in early July, please sign up here: Summer Book Club RSVP.

Racial-Justice Knowledge:

The ODI team will be sending out a weekly digest of top curated articles on racial justice identified by our colleagues and share upcoming events (campus/city-wide, nationally)  to summarize opportunities to learn and connect with the Space and Places for Advocacy & Racial-Justice Knowledge (SPARK). If you have suggestions for good articles/resources, please email us at (new window).

Selected Reads/Videos to Prioritize:

Upcoming Events & Trainings


Ibram X. Kendi on “How to Be an Antiracist” Free Tickets, Mon, Jul 20, 2020 at 7:00 PM
2019 Guggenheim Fellow and New York Times bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi will discuss his renowned book “How to Be an Antiracist” on Monday, July 20 at 7:00 p.m. with Dr. Charlene M. Dukes, president of Prince George’s Community College (new window)


Tomorrow, June 30: Unconscious Bias 101 Training w/ Dean Cheng: Basics of Bias 12-1 pm RSVP here (new window)

Pride with a Purpose

Join us on July 9 from 12:00-1:15pm EST for a discussion on LGBTQ Advocacy & Healthcare following the recent rulings from the Supreme Court & The Department of Health and Human Services.

Please RSVP here: