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School of Dentistry holds ‘Speak Up for Change’ vigil

Published: April 05, 2021 by Kyle Rogers

Hand holds two candles during vigil.
UTSD’s Council on Diversity, Inclusion, and Wellness held a virtual vigil in response to violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. The vigil took place April 2.

In reaction to the victims of violence in Boulder, Colo., and Atlanta, more than 135 people participated when UTHealth School of Dentistry at Houston’s Council on Diversity, Inclusion, and Wellness held a “Speak Up for Change” vigil April 2 via Cisco Webex. A recording of the event is available for viewing at Go.uth.edu/Vigil (UTHealth credentials required for log-in).

The hour-long program featured a special presentation, titled “MOSAIC: Understanding Diversity in the UTSD Family ‘Our Diversity Unites Us,’” and “Understanding the Asian-American Experience,” a faculty-and-student-led panel discussion surrounding issues, including intolerance, racial injustice, discrimination, and microaggressions faced by the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Viewers were encouraged to select a flower or flameless candle of their choice and hold it up during a moment of silence.

In order of appearance, speakers included:

  • John Valenza, DDS, dean and distinguished teaching professor;
  • David Fray, DDS, MBA, professor;
  • Ryan Quock, DDS, distinguished teaching professor;
  • Richard Fu, second-year dental student;
  • Khoi Le, second-year dental student;
  • Melissa Liu, first-year dental student;
  • Joy Nisnisan, third-year dental student;
  • Lisa Cain, PhD, associate dean for professional development and faculty affairs; distinguished teaching professor.

This is the second installment of “Speak Up for Change.” The Council on Diversity, Inclusion, and Wellness held a virtual vigil in memory of George Floyd on June 5.

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