Medical College of Wisconsin Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration

MCW Reflects on MLK Day: Improving Health for All

On Monday, January 15, 2024, MCW proudly commemorated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during its annual MLK Day Legacy Event. Faculty, staff and students provided a moment for reflection on the values and ideas that contribute to creating a more just and equitable health care system.

This year's theme, "Improving Health for All," served as a powerful reminder of the shared responsibility to promote health equity and ensure health care accessibility regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status or any other defining factor.

“At MCW, we have come so far in advancing the health of all communities by confronting and engaging differences we see in people’s opportunities to access what they need to build healthy lives for themselves and their communities,” said Dr. C. Greer Jordan, vice president of inclusion and diversity at MCW. “Engaging differences is central to creating inclusion. The power of diversity is in the differences that people can bring and express to tackle complex problems or create new opportunities.”

The event featured engaging speakers, thought-provoking discussions, and opportunities for reflection on how the health science community could contribute to the development of a fairer and more equitable health care system. There were 197 attendees both in person and attending virtually.

Several students and faculty from various MCW campuses participated by reading quotes from MLK and providing reflections on what his legacy meant to them. Speakers included:

  • John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, president and CEO
  • C. Greer Jordan, PhD, MBA, vice president of inclusion and diversity; assistant professor, Institute of Health and Equity
  • Joseph E. Kerschner, MD, provost and executive vice president; the Julia A. Uihlein, MA, Dean of the School of Medicine
  • Ariane Aidedji, student, School of Pharmacy
  • Miriam Sanchez, student, School of Medicine – MCW-Central Wisconsin campus
  • Reiauna Taylor, student, School of Graduate Studies
  • Ihsan Rizky, student, School of Medicine – MCW-Green Bay campus
  • Ashley Pittman, student, School of Medicine – MCW-Milwaukee campus
  • Anna Palatnik, MD, the Patrick J. and Margaret G. McMahon Endowed Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Staci Young, PhD, senior associate dean for community engagement; professor of family and community medicine; director of the Center for Healthy Communities and
  • Research; inaugural ThriveOn Collaboration faculty director

In addition, a panel discussion, moderated by Toni Whitaker, focused on the event's theme. Featured panelists included:

  • Valerie Flanary, MD, professor of otolaryngology and director of racial equity and inclusion in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Tarakee Jackson, DrPH, MPH, assistant director of diversity, inclusion, belonging and engagement for the MCW Physician Associate Program
  • C. Greer Jordan, PhD, MBA, vice president of inclusion and diversity; assistant professor, Institute of Health and Equity
  • Chelsea Willie, MD, associate professor of anesthesiology and director of DEI in the Department of Anesthesiology


I can feel the love!

This is such a good feeling! LOVE our MCW community!

Thank you SO much to everyone who organized and attended this. What a breath of fresh air.

Thank you to everyone! What an incredible, inspiring and heartwarming event!