J&J steps up with industry education on Black skin health and funding for women in STEM

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (gorodenkoff)
© Getty Images \ (gorodenkoff)

Related tags STEM Black-owned Dermatology Johnson & johnson

Next month, the multinational health and CPG company is launching a series of webinars highlighting Black expertise and innovation in the skin health industry, and, in a separate initiative will award scholarships to early-career women STEM professors.

Some of the good news to come out of 2020 centers on the awareness, conversation, and action that’s changing our society and our industry to respect, include, and reflect the mainstream consumer public in all its racial diversity.

The Black Innovators on Skin Health Webinar Series is a new initiative that fits into that conversation. Starting on Wednesday, October 7, and running for three-consecutive Wednesdays, Johnson & Johnson Innovation (or JLabs) is hosting a series of webinar programming that will cover “the future of dermatology,” “misconceptions about melanin,” ​and “the business of black beauty.”

J&J to host webinar series featuring Black skin health experts

JLabs and Neutrogena (a J&J brand since 1994) have teamed up on the series “to address the underrepresentation of ​Black expertise in the skin health industry​,” ​according to the splash page for the webinar series​.

And that explainer text goes on to say: “As the world’s largest healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson is assuming the responsibility of taking action at a level that we know will make a sustained change….​Together, we can begin to chip away at the deeply embedded systemic barriers to equitable care – starting with a multi-faceted program to identify, support and catalyze programs that address racial health inequities in the skin health industry.”

The first webinar, Medical Education: The Future of Inclusive Dermatology, will include a keynote address by Harvard Medical School Student LaShyra Nolen who (in June 2020) published an article called ‘How Medical Education Is Missing the Bull’s-eye’ in the New England Journal of Medicine​ about how “the standard representation of white and male [can] affect medical education — and consequently the quality of care that my peers and I will provide to our future patients,” ​as she writes in the article intro.

Subsequent webinars will feature Caroline Robinson, MD, FAAD​, and expert in alopecia, preventative skincare, and ethnic skin, who founded and practices at Tone Dermatology in Chicago, Illinois; Jenna Lester, MD​, a Dermatologist at UCSF Skin of Color Clinic; Keenan Beasley​, Founder and CEO of Infinite Looks; Camille Martin PhD, Co-Founder and CEO of Seaspire Skincare​; Olamide Olowe, Co-Founder and CEO of Topicals​; Justin Dawkins, Managing Partner at Collab Capital​; Jaisa Minor, Investor with the New Voices Fund​; Maria Velissaris, Founding Partner at SteelSky Ventures​; Alisa Williams, Partner as VMG Partners​, and others.

J&J continues funding women in STEM with scholarship monies and mentorship

J&J began accepting applications last week for the 2021 Women in STEM2D (WiSTEM2D) Scholars Award. And the final deadline for the awards competition is swiftly approaching: 9am HST (Honolulu Standard Time) on October 15, 2020.

The award funds winner(s)’ research for three years with $50,000 per year. Scholars must be women; assistant or associate academic professors (or equivalent) in science, technology, engineering, math, manufacturing, or design; and hold the requisite degree (which varies by field).

The awards program first launched in 2017 and is an initiative intended “to accelerate the development of women leaders and support women at all stages of their life to improve global health and well-being and drive sustainable economic growth,” ​according to a call for applicants​ posted to jnj.com. Find more information and a link to apply to the 2021 Women in STEM2D Scholars Award online here.

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