Skin of Color Society Press Releases

Press Releases



(December 20, 2021–Chicago, IL)–The Skin of Color Society, (SOCS), an international professional organization dedicated to advancing skin of color dermatology through research, education, mentorship and advocacy, reports several record-setting accomplishments through its signature programs and important initiatives in 2021.
Highlights from the Society’s most active and successful year in its 18-year history include:

  • The Society launched a groundbreaking online learning management system known as the SOCS Dermatology E-Learning and Equity Platform (DEEP), which enables members to learn straight from leading skin of color dermatology experts at their own pace, and earn continuing medical education (CME) credits through dermatology educational webinars and practice management content. This unique educational program is made possible by a grant from L’Oréal Dermatological Beauty Brands: SkinCeuticals, La Roche-Posay, and CeraVe.
  • A major Dermatology Research Fellowship program was introduced this year, thanks to a collaboration with Pfizer Global Medical Grants and the Skin of Color Society Foundation, resulting in 14 fellowships awarded to 12 institutions in several regions across the United States.
  • The SOCS 5th Annual Media Day, held virtually in November 2021, attracted a record number of media attendees, including health, medical, beauty and lifestyle editors, writers and content producers representing top dermatology, medical and consumer news outlets. The following Sponsors made this year’s Media Day possible: Janssen (Superfan level); Bristol Myers Squibb; Procter & Gamble; Scientis (Fan level); Revision Skincare; Lilly (Follower level); EltaMD (Supporter level).
  • The 17th Annual Skin of Color Society Virtual Scientific Symposium, held in March 2021, drew in several hundred attendees representing 26 different countries. The well-attended scientific program featured eight invited speakers, who shared presentations and participated in live Q & A panels, six abstract presenters and a Next Generation panel discussion about the future of skin of color dermatology. This signature SOCS program was supported by Pfizer; Incyte Dermatology; Ortho Dermatologics; Arcutis; UCB; Dermavant; Scientis; Unilever (Dove, Vaseline & MELÉ); Almirall; Sanofi-Genzyme/Regeneron; Beiersdorf; Galderma; Janssen; Medscape Education; Glory Skincare, and SENTÉ.         
  • Thanks to support from OrthoDermatologics and Pfizer, three Skin of Color Society Research Grants were awarded this year to: Courtney Johnson, MD, PhD for “Investigating the Molecular Differences of Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphomas in Black Women for Personalized Therapeutic Options;” Nayoung Lee, MD for “Laser-Assisted Delivery of 5-Fluorouracil versus Triamcinolone in the Treatment of Keloids,” and Sarah Noor, MD for “Patterns of Chemotherapy and Endocrine Therapy-induced Alopecia in Black Patients with Breast Cancer.”             
  • Thanks to support from Pfizer, the 2021 Career Development Award was given to Angel S. Byrd, MD, PhD, for her work, “Elucidating the Role of Autoantibodies in Hidradenitis Suppurativa.”
  • Plans for the 18th Annual SOCS Scientific Symposium are well underway, with the program happening live and in-person on March 24, 2022 in Boston, MA, in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.
  • Scientific abstract submissions for the 18th Annual SOCS Scientific Symposium surged to 132 abstract applications for consideration, up from 86 submissions last year.
  • The SOCS Mentorship Program, which connects young physicians with approved skin of color dermatology expert members, continued to grow and thrive in 2021, spanning the worlds of medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology in academic and private practice settings. An especially large and diverse group of SOCS members participated this year, including the following mentees and mentors:
  • Mentees: Allene Fonseca, MD; Nicole Gunasekera; Geeta Ahuja, BS; Kandice Bailey, MD; Tara Akunna, MD; Sonali Batta, BA,MS; Severine Cao, MD; Anneylla Douglas, MD; Ali Malik, BS; Nickoo Merati, MSc; Ashley Obi; Imara-Safi Scott, MD; Obiageliaku Okafar, MS2; Krystina Quow; Britney Wilson, BA, MS; Seneca Hutson; Harry Chaocheng Liu; Zehra Rizvi; Nwanneka Okwundu’; ChrisLene Olukoga, BS; Melanie Williams, DO; Payal Patel, MD; Danyal Tahseen, MD; Julie Luu, OMS-II, and Amna Elyas, MD.

  • Mentors: Donald Glass, II, MD, PhD; Andrew Alexis, MD, MPH; Naiara Barbosa, MD; Fran Cook-Bolden, MD; Kathleen Cruz Conceicao, VII, MD; Jennifer David, DO; DiAnne Davis, MD; Seemal R. Desai, MD; Yolanda Holmes, MD; Taranum Jaleel, MD; Brandi Kenner-Bell, MD; Eva Kerby, MD; Roopal Kundu, MD; Janiene Luke, MD; Amy McMichael, MD; Julia Mhlaba, MD; Vineet Mishra, MD; Tasneem Mohammed, MD; Peterson Pierre, MD; Rashmi Sarkar, MD; Helena Kuhn, MD; Farah Shah, MD; Andre Moreira Lemes, MD; and Sehar Ghannam, MD.

The SOCS Mentorship program has been supported in the recent past by the SOCS Diversity Movement Fund, including donations from: Urban Skin Rx, EltaMD, SENTÉ, SkinMedica, and many SOCS members who have made voluntary contributions.

  • Thanks to support from EltaMD, Inc., SENTÉ and SkinMedica/Allergan, nine SOCS Observership Grants were awarded in 2021, including the following pairs of mentees and mentors: Mentee: Simi Cadmus, MD and Mentor: Crystal Aguh, MD, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Department of Dermatology; Mentee: Caryn Cobb, BA and Mentor: Valerie Harvey, MD, Hampton Roads Center for Dermatology; Mentee: Elisabeth George, BA and Mentor: Susan Taylor, MD, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; Mentee: Nwanneka Okwundu and Mentor: Amy McMichael, MD, Wake Forest Baptist Health-Department of Dermatology; Mentee: Angel Pagan, BS and Mentor: Emma Guttman-Yassky, MD, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Mentee: Matthew Pimentel, MD and Mentor: Ginette Okoye, MD, Howard University; Mentee: Natalia Rodriguez and Mentor: Susan Taylor, MD, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; Mentee: Autumn Saizan, BS and Mentor: Nada Elbuluk, MD, MSc, Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California; and Mentee: Pearl Ugwu-Dike, BS and Mentor: Michi Shinohara, MD, University of Washington.
  • SOCS Mentorship and Observership Grant Applications for 2022 closed in late 2021, with an all-time high of 94 mentorship applications and 27 observership applications submitted. Winners will be announced in Q1 2022.
  • The popular SOCS Dermatology Diversity Town Hall series featured a virtual program on the Dermatology Residency Application Process, moderated by Drs. Crystal Aguh & Eva Kerby, SOCS Mentorship Committee Co-Chairs (September 2021). The panel of SOCS members included: Drs. Prince Adotama, Angel Diaz, Roopal Kundu, Janiene Luke, Tiffany Mayo, and Kanade Shinkai.
  • Two SOCS Networking & Educational Symposia, supported by Pfizer, were presented virtually this past year: “Truths and Myths in Skin Aging and Skin Cancer in Darker Skin Types,” presented by Maritza Perez, MD, FAAD (April 2021); and “Advanced Dermatologic Procedures,” hosted by Rawn Bosley, MD, FAAD (February 2021).
  • A first-ever SOCS Grant Writing Webinar was moderated by Dr. Katherine Ayoade and presented virtually by Drs. Donald Glass, Crystal Aguh and Angel Byrd (September 2021).
  • In 2021, SOCS accepted 325 new members bringing the total to a record high of almost 1,200 members representing 35 countries.
  • Throughout this year, SOCS continued with ongoing collaborations with SkinCeuticals, VisualDx (Project IMPACT) and CUTIS.
  • Dermatology Times named two SOCS leaders to its Editorial Advisory Board: Valerie Harvey, MD, MPH, FAAD, SOCS President-elect, and Corey Hartman, MD, FAAD, SOCS Board member.
  • In November 2021, the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates adopted a policy to “encourage comprehensive, inclusive and equitable representation of a diverse range of skin tones in all dermatologic and other relevant medical educational resources for medical students, physicians, non-physician health care providers and patients.” SOCS members Seemal R. Desai, MD, FAAD, (SOCS Past President), and Klint Peebles, MD, along with members of the Dermatology Section of the AMA, provided testimony and worked passionately to amend key language, leading to the passage of this milestone AMA resolution.
  • Earlier this year, SOCS leadership embarked on a comprehensive 5-year strategic planning process with Tecker International, which is nearing completion and will be shared publicly in early 2022.
  • SOCS gratefully acknowledges record-level industry support in 2021 from a variety of sponsors.

“We are so grateful to our dedicated SOCS leaders, members and supporters who have helped us champion diversity, equity and inclusion in dermatology, expand our reach and deepen our impact around the world through many innovative and meaningful programs,” comments Donald A. Glass II, MD, PhD, FAAD, SOCS President.

About the Skin of Color Society

The Skin of Color Society (SOCS) is an international professional dermatologic organization dedicated to achieving health equity and excellence in patient care through research, education, mentorship and advocacy. SOCS is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in the field of dermatology to advance patient care. Established in 2004 by Susan C. Taylor, MD, SOCS has grown to include members from numerous countries around the world. Visit @skinofcolorsociety (Facebook/Instagram) & @SkinofColor (Twitter).



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