A brilliant Canadian lady identified we Chika Stacy Oriuwa has broken a record at the University of Toronto, Canada after emerging as the first-ever black valedictorian of the institution’s faculty of medicine.
Chika Stacy Oriuwa was the only black student out of the 259 students in her set. She described her achievement as a testament to the advocacy she had done over the years she spent in medical school.
“I am incredibly thankful to those for voting for me and recognizing the value of the work that I do and the contributions I have made to the faculty and overall community. For me, it is a testament to the advocacy I have done over the last four years. To be able to come this far is also reflective in the shifting demographic and values of medicine today,’ she said.
” With my cohort of graduating physicians, it’s clear that we, as a collective group, value certain things more than they historically have been valued. We value diversity and inclusion and that’s very reflective in me being voted class valedictorian,” she added in her valedictorian speech.
Chika Stacy noted that being the only black student in her set, expectations and pressure was at times overwhelming.
“I felt I had to prove my merit in the classroom. Not only did I feel like this was intrinsically motivated, but externally reinforced when individuals would question if I had an easier route to get into medical school simply because of my race than somehow me getting in off my own merit,” she said.
Chika explained that her achievement was extraordinary as she suffered discrimination not only from patients but peers and staff.
“I was also in a critical environment in which I was exposed to discrimination not only from patients but peers and staff and really struggling with that and not knowing how to unpack or process that kind of adversity,” she said.
“It wasn’t until I started to do a lot more of my advocacy work through giving keynote addresses, doing seminars, my poetry and being able to be an activist in that regard which was a very liberating and empowering process that has allowed me to reclaim some power in the situation,” she added.
“One thing that has really strengthened my resolve is, really, this undying sense of conviction that I have as an advocate. I know what my purpose is and what it is that I am called to do,” she continued.
“And I think that being strengthened and bolstered by the community is something that also allows me to do the work that I know is necessary.”