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A Message from ODI

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Dear Friends:

No amount of words can describe what is happening around the country. Over, and over, and over again – it is the same story. Just a different place and time. Will it ever end? The significance of the March on Washington in 1963 was a bold cry for justice. Here we are in 2020, still demanding an end to injustice. The unwarranted killings of Breona Taylor, Ahmad Arbery, and George Floyd has provoked so many undesirable emotions. Sadly, this is not the first time many of us have felt this way and we will forever speak their names. Then, I continue to think about what may have happened to Chris Cooper, an avid birdwatcher, if he had not recorded his experience. Racism is a terrible disease and these incidents is evidence that we still have a long way to go.

Dr. Woodward reminds us that diversity and inclusion remains a core value at this institution. We must continue to work together by demonstrating civility, compassion, and empathy for one another.

Please know that your Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) is always available to you. Below are several racial equity resources to help you on your journey towards healing, advocacy, and promoting a culture of respect in your own spaces. Consider using these tools as an opportunity for learning, practicing mindfulness, and engaging with your colleagues, students, and community. In closing, ODI extends it services by:

  • Continuing to offer trainings on topics such as diversity, cultural sensitivity and unconscious bias 
  • Releasing “A Guide to Fostering a Climate of Inclusion: From A to Z” (PDF) just published May 2020
  • Extending May’s Word of the Month Toolkit through the month of June. May’s word is “EMPATHY.”
  • Launching a new online resource tool in CANVAS titled “Equity, Inclusion and Covid-19.”  Email odi@umc.edu, if you are interested in retrieving the materials that will be available later this month.
  • Certifying 70 faculty and staff (Cohort II) of the UMMC Diversity and Inclusion Champion and Professional Development Program this month and recognizing them as new D&I champion [Joining 72 others from Cohort I]
  • Offering a Basic Medical Spanish Course to improve staff cultural competence and health outcomes for patients with limited English speaking skills in November 2020
  • Convening the Vice Chancellor’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion in the very near future to focus on strategies to advance D&I at UMMC

Racial Equity Resources

My good friends from The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation also shared the following resources

Onward,

Juanyce D. Taylor, Ph.D.
Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
Associate Professor, Doctor of Health Administration Program
Office of Diversity & Inclusion