WSU Applebaum Black History Month series continues with Witnessing White Privilege discussion March 5

The Wayne State University Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is hosting a series of virtual events to mark Black History Month. All sessions are free and open to the entire WSU community. 

Jump to recordings of earlier events

Faculty speakers
Randy Commissaris (left) and David Pitts

Friday, March 5, 4 p.m.

Witnessing White Privilege 

Randy Commissaris
Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

David Pitts
Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Professors Commissaris and Pitts will lead a discussion on recognizing white privilege based on Peggy McIntosh's article, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack." McIntosh is a feminist scholar who bases her ideas about white blindness to racial privilege on the history of male privilege in patriarchal societies. "I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group," she writes, with the intent to make visible – and dismantle – those systems. 

Click here to join event

Past events 

Black Funeral Homes in Detroit

On Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, Wayne State University mortuary science alumnus and Detroit funeral director Roger Husband '99 talked about the history of funerals in African American culture, from slavery to the present day. In this moving presentation, Husband discusses the deep roots of Detroit's Black funeral homes, Wayne State's mortuary science program, and their connections to the Civil Rights Movement, including care and services upon the deaths of Medgar Evars and Rosa Parks.

Disparities in Health and Health Care Among Older Americans

On Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy Wassim Tarraf discussed his research on health disparities. Tarraf is an affiliated investigator on the largest epidemiological study of diverse Hispanic/Latinos in the United States. Most recently, he is studying the disproportionate mental health effects of COVID-19 on people of color. 


Black Women in Leadership: Our Struggles, Our Determination, Our Success

On Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, WSU Applebaum program directors Jeannetta Greer (Radiation Therapy Technology) and Doreen Head (Occupational Therapy) discussed their experiences as Black women in health care, from encounters with racism to rising above injustice through their strong Christian faith.


"It is Well with my Soul": Hurried Black Women Find Help in Times of Trouble

On Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, Assistant Clinical Professor of Occupational Therapy Regina Parnell highlighted her research on working African American married mothers. Attendees learned about the types of stress related to hurriedness and other cultural pressures. Information about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) was incorporated into the discussion as well as stress management practices for hurried Black women. 


Health Disparities and Systemic Racism

On Feb. 26, 2021, the Student Pharmacists Diversity Council hosted a panel discussion with CVS Pharmacist Dr. Amber Duncan and HAP wellbeing consultant Karine Pawlicki, who talked about health disparities and systemic racism and how it impacts health care and quality of care.

If you have any questions, please contact Marissa Rossman.

Return to news