You will find that Detroit is a vibrant city with a rich ethnic and racial mix surprising to many from outside of Michigan. The city and its metropolitan region was built on lands that belonged to the Ojibwe, Odawa, Potawatomi and Wyandot nations, and many roads, communities and landmarks take their names from the language of those Indigenous peoples. WSU has a robust and active Native American Student Organization working to provide cultural and educational opportunities to the university and surrounding communities. NASO works to improve communication and outreach to unite Native American students and allies to gain more knowledge of Native heritage and culture. Members have secured rooms in the main campus Student Center for students to practice sacred smudging rights, organized the city's annual Peace and Dignity Ceremony, and worked with city officials to establish the Detroit Indigenous People's Alliance, which works with the Detroit City Council to address issues important to Indigenous peoples. Thanks to the work of NASO, Oct. 8 is now recognized in Detroit as Indigenous Peoples Day.
Detroit is also home to one of the nation's largest African American populations, and WSU School of Medicine students interact with and provide much-needed health care to communities that have been underserved and enduring health disparities. All WSU medical students work with Detroit residents throughout their medical training. The Black Medical Association, acutely aware of the needs of the community and of African American students, was founded in 1969. The BMA is the local affiliate of the Student National Medical Association and is one of the oldest and most active student organizations in the school, supporting the development of academic excellence and professionalism among African American students, and working with the administration and fellow students to further develop awareness of issues of equity and the need for more African American physicians and health care providers. The BMA celebrates the heritage of leading Black graduates, many of whom have gone on to change the face of medicine, from integrating formerly all-white hospitals to founding the Sickle Cell Detection and Information Center, the most comprehensive community program in the country, and facilitating the creation of the National Association for Sickle Cell Disease. The BMA's annual Reach Out to Youth event opens the world of medicine and medical research to hundreds of the city's children from disadvantaged backgrounds to show them that they also have a future and role to play in medicine.
The city has a sizeable and growing Hispanic/Latinx community that our physicians-in-training interact with and support. The mission of Amigos Médicos is to help students understand and meet the health care needs of the medically underserved members of the Hispanic community through education and community service. These goals are achieved through medical Spanish language sessions, volunteer experiences in bilingual health care settings such as the Covenant Community Clinic and the Community Health and Social Services Clinic, and travel opportunities to Mexico and South Carolina. The Latino Medical Student Association is committed to addressing issues in health care and medical education in the Latin American community. The LMSA focuses on networking between medical students and medical professionals statewide and nationally, coordinating speakers for cultural events at the school, academic support for medical students, community outreach and working with the administration on Latinx concerns.
You'll soon find that WSU School of Medicine students celebrate who they are and where they come from while continuing to build awareness and making a difference. You will do so while learning medicine from one of the finest and most engaged faculties in the nation, and while providing much-needed frontline care for the community in a variety of ways. You've made the right decision. We're glad you're here and are proud to call you a Warrior M.D.