Sean Wharton

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Interview with Sean Wharton conducted by Ruth Belay

10 March 2020 | A2020-0010/015S | Transcript (PDF) | Listen

Interview description

Dr. Sean Wharton, Medical Director of the Wharton Medical Clinic, holds doctorates in Medicine and Pharmacy from the University of Toronto. Wharton discusses his early experiences at UofT, the underrepresentation of Black students in his courses, and how his growing interest in deconstructing systemic barriers drew him to the Association for the Advancement of Blacks in the Health Sciences (AABHS). Inspired by the Association’s success in providing mentorship and developing outreach initiatives, Wharton helped found the Black Medical Students Association (BMSA) in 2000. He recounts how support and allyship from AABHS, UofT administrators, such as Dr. Miriam Rossi, and fellow students was necessary in establishing the BMSA. Wharton describes the continued goals of the organization, including addressing financial barriers for students and the importance of BIPOC representation through all organizational levels and roles. In emphasizing the significance of building connections and community, he also details the BMSA’s engagement within Toronto schools and the growth of the organization nationally.

 

Organizations

  • Black Medical Student Association (BMSA)
  • Association for the Advancement of Blacks in the Health Sciences (AABHS)
  • Faculty of Medicine, UofT
  • Community of Support, UofT
  • Summer Mentorship Program, UofT
  • Visions of Science
  • Camp Jumoke

Subject Topics

  • Mentorship
  • Racial justice
  • Access to post-secondary education
  • Financial barriers to education
  • Equity in education
  • Community partnership
  • Institutional response
  • Solidarity networks
 

Citation: University of Toronto Archives. Oral History Collection on Student Activism. Oral history interview with Sean Wharton conducted by Ruth Belay, 10 March 2020. A2020-0010/015S.