Naming Racism in Real-Time: Can You Handle the Truth?

Leona Hess, PhD, MSW is a change leader, systems thinker, and experiential learning facilitator with extensive experience in planning for, creating and implementing training solutions and leadership development experiences to support transformational change. A transformational educator, she recently joined the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as the Director of Strategy and Equity Education Programs where she is leading a structured process to support complex change with a focus on the people side of change related to Icahn’s Racism and Bias Initiative.

Dr. Hess holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, an MSW from NYU and a BS from George Washington University

David Muller, M.D is the Dean for Medical Education, Professor of Medical Education and Medicine, and the Marietta and Charles C. Morchand Chair for Medical Education at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. His current work focuses on 1) the impact of racism and bias on medical education, 2) creating alternative pathways to medical school in an effort to redefine national standards for undergraduate and post-bac pre-med preparation, and 3) developing creative training opportunities for medical students who are interested in diverse careers in medicine.

He received his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. from New York University School of Medicine. He completed his Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, where he spent an additional year as Chief Resident. In 2005 Dr. Muller was appointed Dean for Medical Education and the Marietta and Charles C. Morchand Chair in Medical Education

Participants will:

1) Review cases of unintended/ unanticipated racism that are revealed by students in real-time while teaching 

2) Engage in self-reflection

3) Learn and apply anti-oppressive facilitation techniques

4) Explore the White Supremacy millieu/culture that is the context for these incidents


– Identify how their own biases, blind spots, and vulnerablities contribute to these incidents.

– Apply anti-oppressive facilitation techniques.

– Recognize these seemingly isolated incidents as part of dominant cultural norms.