By Damon Markiewicz

Springfield College Health Professions Pathways and Social Justice Academy participants on the Naismith Green on Friday, July 8, 2022.

The Springfield College Division of Inclusion and Community Engagement partnered with faculty members from the Springfield College School of Health Sciences and School of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences in hosting the Health Professions Pathways and Social Justice Summer Academy. The event was helped made possible by a Health New England Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging mini-grant.

Photo gallery from Health Professions Pathways and Social Justice Academy.

This year’s program brought together 18 youth that represented area rising sophomore, junior, and senior high school students. Hosted on the Springfield College campus, the academy provided students with a forum to become catalysts for social, political, health, and environmental change in their communities.

“Our 18 scholars were engaged and collaborative as they learned about social justice and the efforts of health professionals pursuing health equity,” said Springfield College Department of Physical Therapy Chair and faculty member Julia Chevan. “All 18 of them are now committed to being catalysts for healthy communities.”

Attendees spent time working in small learning communities exploring the concept of social justice through self-reflection, team-building activities, organizing, self-expression, and critical thinking through a variety of discussions and projects. In addition, participants were specifically exploring issues of social justice in health and engaging in health professions education with a goal of addressing social justice issues.

“We are very proud to be able to host programs like this on our campus,” added Springfield College Vice President for Inclusion and Community Engagement Calvin Hill. “The attendees were engaged and our faculty and students leading the sessions did a remarkable job in making sure this was a very successful program.”