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Hundreds participate in School of Dentistry’s ‘Speak Up for Change’ vigil

UTSD’s Council on Diversity, Inclusion, and Wellness held a virtual vigil in memory of George Floyd on June 5.
UTSD’s Council on Diversity, Inclusion, and Wellness held a virtual vigil in memory of George Floyd on June 5.

In reaction to the death of Houston native George Floyd, more than 340 people participated when UTHealth School of Dentistry’s Council on Diversity, Inclusion, and Wellness held a “Speak Up for Change” vigil June 5 via Cisco Webex. A recording of the event is available for viewing at Go.uth.edu/UTSDVigil (UTHealth credentials required for log-in). 

Several members of the faculty, staff, and student body shared compelling messages calling for change and understanding of the issues surrounding racial injustice, inequities, and discrimination. Viewers were encouraged to select a flower 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, associate professor;
  • Jorge Vega, second-year dental hygiene student;
  • Temilola Joseph, third-year dental student;
  • Michael Akinyeye, second-year dental student;
  • Ike Osemene, third-year dental student;
  • Sonya Davis, educational programs coordinator;
  • C.D. Johnson, DDS, MS, professor and Urgent Care Clinic director;
  • Lynnette Lewis, MBA, SPHR, director of administration;
  • Lisa Cain, PhD, associate dean for professional development and faculty affairs; distinguished teaching professor.
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