Black History Month

Mural reading Black History Month.

Black History Month is a celebration and acknowledgment of achievements by African Americans throughout our history.

The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the Office of Inclusion and Cultural Enhancement honors outstanding figures in our field, African American traditions, history and culture with joy and pride.

Celebrate and learn more about Black History Month

UB celebrates the contributions that African Americans have made to American history in their struggles for freedom and equality and deepens our understanding of our nation's history.

A detailed and informative timeline about the origins of Black History Month.

The Civil Rights Movement Archive offers a repository of up from below and inside-out history as seen and interpreted by the participants whose boots were on the ground.

Celebrating black history month at UB in the past

From its founding in 1846, the University at Buffalo never had a policy of exclusion on the basis of race, gender or religion. UB educated African-American doctors in an era when few such people were educated in predominately white institutions.

Celebrating black history month at UB today

Presented by the Graduate Student Prehealth Association

  • Jonathan Daniels, MD Portrait.
    Jonathan Daniels, MD

    “My life mission is to eliminate the term ‘underrepresented minorities in medicine!’ All people, all cultures, all religions need to be viewed as worthwhile, as such that no preference is given to one’s status and that everybody stands on the merits of their actions, and not by their appearance of their skin and beliefs! To the future of medicine it is vital that you allow yourself latitude to grow and develop. Be willing to open your mind! Listen to those you have gone before you!

    Do not let anybody devalue your dreams and goals!”

    Jonathan Daniels, MD
    Associate director of admissions

  • Anyango Kamina, PhD Portrait.
    Anyango Kamina, PhD

    “Equity, diversity and inclusion in STEM and health care means providing equitable opportunities to STEM education and careers, as well as equitable access to culturally competent health care. Future doctors and scientists, it is important to create your network of positive sources of reinforcement, i.e., mentors, friends, family and allies, as you pursue your degree and start your career! These are the people that will help guide you and uplift you in the times that you need it most.”

    Anyango Kamina, PhD
    Assistant dean of student development and academic enhancement

  • Jamal Williams, PhD Portrait.
    Jamal Williams, PhD

    “Black History Month gives us a chance to reflect on all the contributions made by individuals who had to overcome immense obstacles for a greater purpose. Through this reflection, we know that we stand on the shoulders of giants who've paved the way for us. In science, I hope our current generation can use both the historical triumph and tragedies as a springboard for success while striving to push the field forward. Black history is not only our foundation, it is also what we do now!”

    Jamal Williams, PhD
    Postdoctoral Associate, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

  • Neneyo Mate-Kole Portrait.
    Neneyo Mate-Kole

    “Pursuing a career in medicine is a tough road. There will be ups and downs during the journey. It is crucial to remember your why! With a great support system and mentors, you will be set to accomplish any goal. In the future, I will create a pipeline program that allows people that look like me to have easier access to mentors in STEM fields.”

    Neneyo Mate-Kole
    Medical student, Class of 2022

  • David Milling,MD Portrait.
    David Milling, MD

    “We must address the policies responsible for structural racism that continue to impact the social determinants of health which makes it so difficult for a level playing field in preparation for medical school! My goal has always and will always be to diversify the workforce in medicine.”

    David Milling, MD
    Senior associate dean for student and academic affairs

  • Sydney Johnson Portrait.
    Sydney Johnson

    “Most of the time when we talk about equity, diversity, and inclusion people tune themselves out while having the perception that it does not apply to them. Rather than internalizing it, they are just being present for the conversation. We must make sure people are engaging in these conversations enough to change the way they think and change their hearts because at the end of  the day the people you  are caring for and the people lives you are saving matter!”

    Sydney Johnson

    SNMA VicePresident
    Medical student, Class of 2025

  • Karen Anderson Portrait.
    Karen Anderson Hardaway

    “In today’s climate, equity, diversity and inclusion within the health care system is significant across the board on local and international levels. My purpose is to continue the work as clergy to unify faith-based platforms with health care platforms. All in the health care field are in need of daily prayers and encouragement! You are needed and your life matters! Do not ever give up in the face of adversity!”

    Karen Anderson Hardaway
    Dmin Candidate
    OMC Administrative Assistant
    Clergy at Buffalo General Hospital

  • Sydney Pigott Portrait.
    Sydney Pigott

    “Diversity includes not seeing the same faces in medicine. We need to see African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, members of the LGBTQ+ community, especially women of color in medical spaces! Seeing representation matters! This ensures better health care for my community and the community I serve because seeing someone that looks like you increases trust and patient satisfaction.”

    Sydney Pigott
    SNMA Social Media Chair
    Medical student, Class of 2025

  • Kwaku Bonsu Portrait.
    Kwaku Bonsu

    “Increasing diversity in medicine increases trust between underserved communities and the health care system, which is a major contribution in the gaps we see in medicine. My mission is to be about the solution to the health care disparities that my community faces and be the representation for premedical students, because I know how it feels not to have that guidance!”

    Kwaku Bonsu
    SNMA MAPS Liaison
    Medical student, Class of 2025

  • Keyanna Brown, MS Portrait.
    Keyanna Brown

    “To me, equity, diversity and inclusion in medicine extends past February when everyone decides to recognize Black History Month and the various accomplishments of my people. True equity, diversity and inclusion means having people like me in the same room as others. We need more women of color in medicine representing the needs of the next generation! Being that role model inspires me everyday to continue this journey of pursuing a career in medicine.”

    Keyanna Brown
    Master’s program alumna, ’21

  • Ifeoma Ezeilo Portrait.
    Ifeoma Ezeilo

    “It is extremely difficult for medical students who look like me to grab resources and networking opportunities especially when you have physicians favoriting other students. We come from communities where most of us don’t make it this far! Yet, we stand strong in triumph representing greatness and what we ought to be! We must change our narrative, and bring forth the racism and inequalities that continue to oppress us! It is imperative to be culturally competent as this will make you a great physician and a fantastic person!”

    Ifeoma Ezeilo
    SNMA President
    Medical student, Class of 2025

Take Action, Donate, Get Involved

Black Lives Matter is a political and social movement protesting against racially motivated violence against black people.

Buffalo’s African American Cultural Center is a multicultural institution that facilitates a better understanding of cultural diversity among all people.

Help your community. Buy local. Here is a comprehensive guide of small businesses in Buffalo that needs your support.