Event Promotion: Wake Up Winston – Advocate Day and Open Mic Night

Safe Zone in Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine and the Offices of Inclusion and Diversity and Student Inclusion and Diversity at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center cordially invite you to participate on Friday October 6, 2017 in our Wake Up Winston Advocate Day and Open Mic Night featuring Donovan Livingston as MC. 

This event will serve as a community celebration of diversity and inclusion and unite advocates and allies. This event will give our community members space to express their experiences and feelings through a variety of artistic expressions AND empower advocates and allies to show their solidarity. We are inviting you to participate in this community event. This is an open mic night with the goal of providing a safe space to both celebrate diversity, inclusion, and equity, as well as engage in constructive dialogue, provide awareness, and connect with each other to rise above experiences of injustice and inequity both in medicine and in the world around us.

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2105: A Designer Baby Odyssey

By: Laura Browder, Associate Attorney at Wyatt Early Harris Wheeler LLP

Celeste was yanked out of a dreamless sleep by a sudden wave of vibrations traveling up her left wrist. Fumbling with the sleek ceramic face of the watch – if it could even be called a watch, with its time-telling ability often overshadowed by its myriad other capabilities – she managed to align her right index finger on the screen with the surgical-like precision that the device seemed to require. The vibrations stopped, only to be replaced by the shrill voice of Isabelle Hall, her crisis-prone assistant.   Continue reading “2105: A Designer Baby Odyssey”

The Keeping of Cancer

By: Mary Taylor Mann, Ph.D. Student at Emory University

In September 2014, Cassandra C. was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In re Cassandra C., 316 Conn. 476, 112 A.3d 158 (2015). For the next two months, multiple pediatric and oncology specialists urged Cassandra and her mother to begin chemotherapy treatment for Cassandra’s cancer. All physicians agreed that, with immediate treatment, Cassandra would have a high likelihood of cure. Without treatment, however, the cancer would inevitably lead to Cassandra’s death. Cassandra and her mother were skeptical of the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments and feared the anticipated harmful side effects of long-term cancer treatments. Cassandra wanted to explore alternative therapy treatments. She did research and learned of other Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients who were successfully treating their cancer with natural therapies. Continue reading “The Keeping of Cancer”

Pieces of My Memories: A Poem to Alzheimer’s

By: Alyea Pierce, Assistant Director at Rutgers University

Alyea Pierce is an author, public speaking and poetry coach, and performer. She is the Assistant Director for Department of Leadership and Experiential Learning at Rutgers University. She describes her purpose with spoken word as one to provide a voice for the unheard – those silenced in some way. In her work, she strives to tell stories as truthfully as possible, whether in describing experiences with race, gender, cancer, autism, or Alzheimer’s. In this TEDx talk in Huntsville, Alabama, Alyea shares a spoken word piece about overcoming the challenges of Alzheimer’s within her family. Continue reading “Pieces of My Memories: A Poem to Alzheimer’s”

Without License

By: Alysia Yi, Graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law

Alysia Yi is featured in our Author Spotlight section. You can read her interview about this piece here.

Photo by John Hammond

Part I. The Way It Was

1958, Seoul, South Korea

A woman lay on her bed, silently staring at the ceiling of a tiny master bedroom. She’s wearing a dress, her legs open and stretched out, immobile. Blood stains the old white sheets from the waist down. She looks at least ten years older than her young age of twenty-five, a kind of hard aging that has befallen those who’ve lived through war. The kind of aging that did not draw attention in a country thoroughly afflicted with grief. A single tear falls down her face as she stares blankly into space, her stoicism gratefully masking her sorrow of yet another loved one lost. There was no war to blame for this one though. Continue reading “Without License”

The Signs and Story of One in Four

By: Ashley Barton, Student at Wake Forest University School of Law

Photo by Sarah White

Anna swore she would never do it. A proclamation she made when she was fourteen-years-old, sitting in her health class, watching a movie titled “Addiction” on a wheeled-out television stand. Anna’s eyes glossed over the images on the screen, thinking to herself, how could someone do this to themselves? It was easy to judge the teens that appeared on the screen—all from low-income and broken households, clothed in all black, smoking cigarettes on stoops and alleyways—when Anna knew that her life looked nothing like that. That will never be me peeled from her lips with ease. At only fourteen, Anna knew the difference between right and wrong, and addiction strongly fit in the “wrong” box, locked and hidden from sight. Continue reading “The Signs and Story of One in Four”

Without End

By: Dustin Hillsley, Associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Photo by Rennett Stowe


The great absurdity of life was that by the time you had the knowledge and wisdom to appreciate it you were already losing it.  What was it people said?  When you’re born, you’re already dying.  But I think knowledge and wisdom were different; unlike knowledge, wisdom didn’t come from the accumulated experience of a long life.  Wisdom came from that sense of impending doom, the feeling that your time was running out.  It came from watching others take over where you left off, after your limbs lost their youthful vigor and your mind its clarity of thought.  It came from giving up your stake in the world.  It came from mortality itself.

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Wind, Rain, or Nothing at All

By: Erin E. McKee, Decedent Care Education Coordinator with Novant Health

Photo by Niels Kliim

The tree was fixing to fall, and he knew it.  He knew it before the headlights swiped the last stand of hickory by the unmarked drive.  Not by sight, but by feeling – the weight of it, the force of wet bark half-becoming earth.  It was a feeling that caught in his throat as he strained the sedan into washed-out ruts of the drive to daddy’s place.  The seatbelt cut a track across his gut.  He was tired of the car.  Continue reading “Wind, Rain, or Nothing at All”

A Platonic Dialogue: Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

By: John Van Swearingen, Student at Wake Forest University School of Law

John Van Swearingen is featured in our Author Spotlight section. You can read his interview about his piece here.

Let us assume that Plato and Socrates were alive today, and they sat down together after an enlightening Bioethics class to discuss the topic of the day one-on-one. Ever the obstinate instructor, Socrates has committed himself to challenging Plato’s thoughts every step of the way…

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The Post-Modern Prometheus

By: Perrin B. Fourmy, Associate at Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP

Photo by Chevalie R.

“Dr. Thompson, it’s all over.”

A man with a badge and a walkie talkie was explaining to the lab coats and suits that they could come back inside.  It was just another false alarm.  Dr. Thompson had gotten used to these, but sometimes work had to be scrapped and started again because of the delays.  These interruptions were even more troublesome for researchers, but in recent months, his specific responsibilities had shifted more towards management.  He enjoyed his work less since leaving the lab, but that was the price he paid for success.  One of the prices, at least.

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