College of Life Sciences

Founding Co-chairs

Takunda and Wendy are founding members of MedRACE, and MedRACE student co-chairs 2020-2023. In that time, they progressed various areas of MedRACE work, including development and delivery of EDI and active bystander training, and the creation of an inclusive curriculum toolkit. They represented MedRACE at numerous conferences and meetings and remain linked to MedRACE as graduates.

Takunda Nhiwatiwa, Graduate, Leicester Medical School

Takunda NhiwatiwaWhen appointed to her role as student co-chair, Takunda wrote, 'I became interested in EDI and decolonising the curriculum following the BMA Racial Harassment Charter release, and used this as a way to channel the anger I felt at the many racial injustices I was facing at the time. Since joining, I have worked to decolonise the way dermatology is taught at Leicester, as well as co-developing and co-delivering bystander training to medical students. I have also appeared on a few podcasts discussing wider topics surrounding the charter and the work we do.

Outside of MedRACE, I am a Newcastle Physiological Sciences graduate, where my interest was reproductive health, on which I wrote my dissertation. This interest has continued and I am currently heavily involved with local and national sexual health charities, including on national boards, with the aim of delivering inclusive SRE to schools and the wider public. I have worked previously as a HCA and a support worker in both the disability and psychiatric sector, as well as volunteering for almost a decade. On open days you will likely find me in the demonstration room testing your lung function, or chatting your ear off on a student panel. My hobbies include dancing, baking, binge watching reality TV, and learning sign language; sometimes all at once!

In my role as co-chair I hope to further facilitate the group within the medical school to empower students and staff alike to lobby for change. I would also like to achieve further review/decolonisation of units, as well as increase collaboration with other courses and societies.'

Wendy Tetteh, Graduate, Leicester Medical School

Wendy TettehWhen appointed to her role as student co-chair, Wendy wrote, 'I am a graduate entry medical student having studied Anatomy and Physiology at The University of Dundee. Following on from events that happened in 2020 such as the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd there was widespread anger in the world and the work that the Black Lives Matter movement had been doing for years came to the forefront. The BMA Racial Harassment Charter was released, and Leicester Medical School made a commitment to sign up to it. I felt compelled to get involved in some capacity and got involved in the formation of what was then known as the BMA Charter Working Group. Now officially known as MedRACE I have been a part of several different projects such as co-developing and co-delivering EDI lectures and active bystander training to both students and patient educators. Outside of MedRACE I have an interest in surgery and have been involved in research concerning this. I also enjoy sports and play for the University Netball Team. When not doing that, I can be found sampling the baked goodies that Takunda makes (which I can confirm are delicious!).

As a student co-chair I hope to contribute further to aiding the great work the group has accomplished so far! From the changes that occur in policies implemented, to the events hosted in celebrating achievements from underrepresented groups my hope is MedRACE continues to contribute towards building a more inclusive and supportive environment for students and staff alike.'

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