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SOCS 2021 Achievement Highlights


The Skin of Color Society released an article detailing its 2021 achievements, containing what the society considers its most active and successful year.

The Skin of Color Society (SOCS) is an international organization that is dedicated to the advancement of skin of color (SOC) dermatology through research, education, mentorship, and advocacy. During 2021, the SOCS reportedly accomplished several achievements:

  • Launching an online learning management system (LMS) known as the SOCS Dermatology E-Learning and Equity Platform (DEEP). It enables members to learn more from leading SOC dermatology experts at their own pace and earn continuing medical education (CME) credits through dermatological educational webinars and practice management content. The platform was created with a grant from L'Oréal Dermatological Beauty Brands: SkinCeuticals, La Roche-Posay, and CeraVe.
  • A new dermatology research fellowship program due to a collaboration with Pfizer Global Medical Grants and the Skin of Color Society Foundation.This led to 14 fellowships that were awarded to 12 institutions in several regions across the US.
  • The SOCS 5th Annual Media Day was held virtually in November 2021. This was sponsored by Janssen, Bristol Myers Squibb, Procter & Gamble, Scientis, Revision Skincare, Lilly and Company, and EltaMD.
  • The 17th Annual Skin of Color Society Virtual Scientific Symposium, held in March 2021, had attendees from 26 different countries. It featured 8 speakers who shared presentations and participated in live Q&A panels and 6 abstract presenters.It also included a next generation panel discussion about the future of SOC dermatology.
  • OrthoDermatologics and Pfizer helped support 3 SOCS Research Grants that 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."
  • The 2021 Career Development Award was given toAngel S. Byrd, MD, PhD, for her work, "Elucidating the Role of Autoantibodies in Hidradenitis Suppurativa."
  • Plans for the 18th Annual SOCS Scientific Symposium began with the program happening live and in-person on March 24, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. This is in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
  • There are 132 abstract applications for consideration in 2022, up from 86 submissions in 2021.
  • The SOCS Mentorship Program, which connects young physicians with approved SOC expert members, grew in 2021. A 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 and Observership Grant Applications for 2022 closed in late 2021, with a record of 94 mentorship applications and 27 observership applications submitted. The winners will be announced in Q1 2022.
  • The SOCS dermatology diversity town hall series featured a virtual program on the dermatology residency application process.
  • Two SOCS networking and educational symposia were presented virtually this past year:"Truths and Myths in Skin Aging and Skin Cancer in Darker Skin Types," presented byMaritza Perez, MD, FAAD, (April 2021); and "Advanced Dermatologic Procedures," hosted by Rawn Bosley, MD, FAAD, (February 2021).
  • The first-ever SOCS grant writing webinar was moderated by Katherine Ayoade, MD, PhD, and presented virtually by Donald Glass, MD, PhD; Crystal Aguh, MD; andAngel Byrd, BS, MD, PhD,(September 2021).
  • In 2021, SOCS accepted 325 new members, bringing the total number of members to a record high of almost 1,200 representing 35 countries.
  • Throughout this year, SOCS continued with ongoing collaborations with SkinCeuticals, VisualDx (Project IMPACT) and CUTIS.
  • Dermatology Times® named 2 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.

"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," said Donald A. Glass II, MD, PhD, FAAD, SOCS president.


The Skin of Color Society reaches new heights in 2021 as a global organization of dermatologists dedicated to achieving health equity & excellence in patient care. Cision PR Newswire. Press Release. Published December 20, 2021. Accessed January 4, 2022. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-skin-of-color-society-reaches-new-heights-in-2021-as-a-global-organization-of-dermatologists-dedicated-to-achieving-health-equity--excellence-in-patient-care-301447972.html

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