Dentist Janice Darko is now a part of history.
Darko attends the University of Utah’s School of Dentistry, a predominantly white campus where she has carved her own path.
She is the founder of the Black and Dental Art Student Association, which engineered an art gallery that showcased her Ghanaian heritage alongside other classmates’ heritage.
“The mission of the BDSA Student Association is to provide a firm and stable policy environment for effective mainstreaming of the African culture into all aspects of University of Utah Dental school life,” she said during an interview with the school. “To ensure strong emergence of a vibrant, creative art environment at the University of Utah campus. To entertain, inform, and inspire people around the globe and the dental community through the power of unparalleled art, reflecting iconic creative minds, and innovative technologies to bring inspiration, innovation to every dental student, faculty, and staff who has a talent for art.”
Dr. Bart Watts, an associate instructor at the University of Utah School of Dentistry, told KUTV, “We work with students on hand skills. Learning how to work on teeth, be good providers. And we forget that translates into other types of visual art as well.”
Furthermore, Darko wears multiple hats.
In addition to caring for her family, who moved to America from Ghana, she is also a member of the United States Navy Reserve.
“Being a Black woman from Africa, I still have to go home. Cook, clean, be a wife, take care of my children. I have all of those responsibilities,” she explained to KUTV.
“This is bigger than me. This is not just about me. This is about representing my community,” Darko explained, according to the outlet.