Salem College announces Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones as commencement speaker

Salem College announces Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones as commencement speaker
May 05
12:51 2021

Dr. Jones noted for her work regarding the impact of racism on health

Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, will be the speaker for Salem College’s in-person Commencement on Saturday, May 8, at Truist Stadium in downtown Winston-Salem. She is a family physician and epidemiologist whose work focuses on naming, measuring, and addressing the impacts of racism on the health and wellbeing of the nation.

Dr. Jones’ allegories on “race” and racism illuminate topics that are otherwise difficult for many Americans to understand or discuss. Recognizing that racism saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources, she aims to mobilize and engage all Americans in a National Campaign Against Racism.

“At Salem’s upcoming Commencement, Dr. Jones will share a powerful story about her incredible body of work that will include her observations regarding racial justice concerns and the COVID pandemic,” Salem Academy and College Interim President Susan Henking said. “Vast opportunities are ahead for the Salem College Class of 2021, and I look forward to hearing Dr. Jones’ inspiring message for our graduates in May as they leave Salem to forge their own paths and make a difference locally, regionally, and globally.

“We are particularly thrilled to have Dr. Jones as our speaker this year because of Salem College’s recently announced Health Leadership transformation,” Dr. Henking added. “I also thank our partners at the Winston-Salem Dash for working with us to provide an in-person Commencement at Truist Stadium for the Class of 2021.”

Henking said it has not yet been determined whether Dr. Jones’ address to the Class of 2021 will be in-person at Truist Stadium or presented via recorded message.

Dr. Jones, who is past president of the American Public Health Association, currently is a Presidential Visiting Fellow at the Yale School of Medicine in the Department of Medicine and the Office of Health Equity Research. She will serve as the 2021–2022 UCSF Presidential Chair at the University of California San Francisco and was the 2019–2020 Evelyn Green Davis Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

She taught six years as an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health (1994 to 2000), served 14 years as a medical officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2000 to 2014), and is currently an adjunct associate professor at the Morehouse School of Medicine and an adjunct professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

For more information about Salem Academy, please visit For more information about Salem College, please visit

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