STUDENT ORGANIZATION SPOTLIGHT – SPADE
In 2015, Emmanuel Osei became the first president of SPADE the Student Pharmacists Association for Diversity and Equity. According to Its purpose statement, SPADE is a student run organization that is “committed to promoting an academically enriching and supportive environment, allowing all students of the College of Pharmacy to feel welcomed and appreciated regardless of their background. SPADE aims to recognize, respect, and value people’s differences in hope that all members are able to achieve their full potential by promoting an inclusive culture for all students”.
SPADE was birthed out of the vision of a few students who saw that the college lacked a student organization that was solely focused on diversity and equity not only on the racial and cultural front but also in socio-economic standing and sexual orientation.
The necessity for a community of support for each member of the college of pharmacy is something that is recognized and supported by the college and its members both in leadership as well as student member populations.
In addition to fostering an inclusive environment for all members of the college of pharmacy, SPADE also seeks to educate and better prepare students to serve as Pharmacists in a diverse work force. During certain general body meetings, SPADE members receive insight from different leaders in pharmacy with experience in diversity. Patients also share their experience in healthcare.
Under Emmanuel Osei’s leadership, SPADE established the “Diversity Week”. The weeklong celebration of the diversity in the college of pharmacy. The now annual week of celebration is typically held at the beginning of each new school year. During this week, the various cultures represented in the college are highlighted. There is food in abundance as well as various opportunities to learn from the various speakers. During this week, students are also given opportunities to earn professional development hours by participating in the activities held at the college.
SPADE is off to a great start and with the continuous efforts being made at the college, I see only a bright future ahead for both the organization and the college as a whole.