I learned that your voice does matter after watching attendees ask questions — some simple, others not so much — but they were heard. I got overloaded with abstract presentations galore but absorbed the portion I needed most. I had conversations with scientists to sightseers and they were all powerful. The thing I learned the most is past all the political cockamamie that goes on behind closed doors, everyone there TRULY is passionately committed to what they DO!

In closing, leaving the world of ASH, I certainly know they’re TRULY investing in DEI issues with sincerity! My hopes are that next year those DEI abstracts are more strategically planned so those rooms can fill to capacity. More folks who are NOT African American need to be PRESENT!

I’m blessed to have had this opportunity, and I thank the IMF and our sponsors!!! Special shoutout to the whole ASH23 IMF team, it was an honor working alongside everyone!

— Oya Gilbert

Follow Oya on X (formerly Twitter): @grandgrizzo
Support Group Website: Mason-Dixon Line Myeloma Misfits Support Group