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Signature events

Learners of Color Orientation


The Learners of Color Orientation is designed to welcome African American/Black, Latinx, Asian and Native American learners at the T.H. Chan School of Medicine, the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing and the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and residents. The goal is to introduce learners to the different support structures and resources available while they are at UMass Chan. The orientation was designed in collaboration with current learners at UMass Chan. This is a community building program grounded in the understandings of racialized and gendered identities and is dedicated to principles of racial and social justice.

LGBTQ Luncheon and Worcester Pride


The UMass Chan Medical School community marks the start of the academic year at Convocation and holds a series of ceremonies celebrating students and faculty achievement. Included in the slate of events is the annual LGBTQ Luncheon that brings the community together to learn about health issues members of the LGBTQ community face and to commit to eliminating barriers and resolving those disparities. This event coincides with the Worcester Pride Celebration that takes place in September, aims to raise the level of interest in the campus’ collective commitment to fostering a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment.  

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

(Sept. 15 to Oct. 15)

Hispanic Heritage Month is a time when UMass Chan joins the nation in recognizing the vibrant, foundational and continued contributions of the Latinx community. This month is a time to renew and reaffirm institutional commitments that give visibility to the Latinx community and to celebrate the faculty, staff, caregivers, residents, postdocs and students of Latinx heritage who have contributed to UMass Chan organizational successes.

Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month calls us to pause and celebrate indigenous peoples of the past and present and to reflect upon and recommit to the promises we have made to restore right relationships with tribal nations. At UMass Chan Medical School, that began in September 2020 with a conversation about the importance of acknowledging that the land on which the Medical School sits was once part of the original homeland of the Nipmuc people. The Diversity and Inclusion Office has worked to partner with the Hassanamisco band of Nipmuc people. This partnership brings the Nipmuc people, faculty and students together to discuss what authentic relationships with our indigenous community looks like. We celebrate Native American Heritage Month annually as a reminder to lean into our commitments to our native neighbors.

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration of Service


The Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration of Service is an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate the legacy of Dr. King by highlighting the importance of service. The theme incorporates Dr. King’s lasting message that, “Everyone can be great because anyone can serve.” It is a time to recognize the many hours of community and health service that are provided annually by members of the academic health sciencescommunity to Worcester and the global.

The celebration includes a keynote speaker who provides insights for achieving the mission of UMass Chan to increase diversity in student, faculty and staff positions; improve the cultural competence of the workforce; and eliminate health disparities through research, service and practice. At the celebration, Chancellor Michael F. Collins announces the recipient or recipients of the annual Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion. Past recipients have included faculty; administrative, clinical and support staff; caregivers; and residents, all of whom have contributed to advancing institutional excellence through diversity, civility the enhancement of cultural competence and through reducing health disparities. In addition, students are recognized with MLK Semester of Service Student Awards for community-based projects.

Black History Month


In February UMass Chan highlights the contributions of African Americans to the fabric of the United States. The UMass Chan community seeks to illuminate the stories of everyday heroines and heroes who have worked to address issues of equity and justice in medicine.

Campus Read


Formally established in 2009 by Chancellor Michael F. Collins, the Campus Read is an academic enrichment initiative designed to provide campus-wide engagement through the reading of a book relevant to health care and health sciences education. The book discussion promotes academic discourse and critical thinking on a topic that is both timely and important for the campus community and its mission areas. For the past several years, the Campus Read Committee has chosen a book that has been aligned with our goal of increasing cultural competence. During the read, members of the academic health sciences community come together in small and large discussion groups for critical analysis of the chosen book and the themes it brings up.

Women’s History Month


UMass Chan joins in the national celebration of Women’s History Month in March to recognize the achievements of women in all facets of life and particularly in science and medicine. The Diversity and Inclusion co-sponsors Women’s History Month with the Women’s Faculty Committee, Women’s Leadership Work Group and Professional Women’s Committee by hosting a speaker tasked to uplift the contributions of women in medicine and barriers women still face. 

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 


Asian Americans have thrived, making significant contributions to American culture and economy. Yet, barriers to equity and inclusion still exist. As anti-Asian racism took root through name-calling, fear mongering and violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, it gave rise to the sentiment of Asian Americans as perpetual foreigners. Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month allows us to celebrate the AAPI community as well as talk about the health of Asians and the barrier to equity and inclusion they face. The “model minority” myth, which portrays Asian Americans as high socio-economic achievers who lack nothing, creates a roadblock to members of this community receiving preventative health care services.  



UMass Chan Medical School's celebration of Juneteenth is about highlighting the power of black joy and challenging our institution to consistently invest in opportunities that bring and maintain stellar African American students, faculty and staff to UMass Chan whose expertise and world views enhance our community.