Medical Students Organize WUSM #WhiteCoatsforBlackLives Efforts

Image created by Jason Morris, third-year medical student, of 307 separate profile photos of WUSM faculty, staff, trainees and students taken as part of a social media effort for #WhiteCoatsforBlackLives. According to Morris, “This composite image truly reflects that we all stand together in solidarity against racism.”

In late May, several School of Medicine students were discussing how they could make a difference in light of the resurgence of awareness of police violence and systemic racism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.  Jason Morris, third year medical student recalls, “My peers and I were wanting to voice support for communities of color while at the same time understanding that COVID hasn’t gone away. As future medical professionals, we wanted to find a way to express that support while following social distancing guidelines to limit any potential spread and harm to communities that have already been ravaged by the pandemic.”

Morris and several other students organized quickly and within a week had developed a two-part effort to promote awareness and support as part of the #WhiteCoatsforBlackLives movement.  Several profile photo shoot sessions were scheduled where WUSM faculty, students and trainees wearing clinical garb and masks held signs with messages showing support for communities of color and acknowledging that racism is a public health crisis. The student organizers encouraged participants to use their images on social media along with links to educational resources, community organization websites, etc. in order to build awareness and provide avenues for others to directly engage with the movement.

The student group was also responsible for organizing hundreds of WUSM faculty, staff and students on Friday, June 5th for a demonstration as part of the White Coats for Black Lives event, held in conjunction with other healthcare professionals across the nation.

Working with Jason Morris were several other WUSM students, including:


  • Katie Goodenberger
  • Maren Loe
  • Sarah Mayer

Photo Campaign

  • Lade Sogade
  • Iris Kuo
  • Kaitlin McCallum
  • Grace Uwase
  • Janessa Sullivan
  • Colin McCornack