Diversity Means More

June 11, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership, ,

Over the past few months, the nation has endured some of its greatest health, social and economic challenges in recent memory.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic not only devastated families across the globe, but also exposed 400 years of racial health disparities that have wreaked havoc on the African American community. In the state of Michigan, for example, African Americans make up 31 percent of total COVID-19 cases, yet they comprise only 14 percent of the population.

Simultaneously, the nation has watched as viral social media videos and articles covered the unjust deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Unfortunately, their deaths are not outliers, and are only a drop in a very full bucket of untimely deaths of African American men and women as a result of centuries of systematic oppression and racism.

Now more than ever, people across the nation are working together to combat the effects of racism by influencing change in mindsets, policies and health care to create a just, equal, diverse and equitable nation. In support of this effort, it is important to share and understand the individual experiences of fellow colleagues and coworkers.

“In order to create sustainable change, influential programming and impactful training, we must first understand the needs and concerns of those who have been oppressed and underserved,” said David J. Brown, M.D., associate vice president and associate dean for health equity and inclusion at Michigan Medicine and associate professor of otolaryngology.

“The reality is, many of those whom you work with on a daily basis have the same or very similar experiences with diversity and racism. It is powerful for our community to come together and share our stories and thoughts, both good and bad, to highlight the impact that diversity has on us – individually and institutionally.”

Share your thoughts and experiences

At Michigan Medicine, diversity means more! More understanding. More empathy. More change. More equity.

That’s why the organization is introducing the “Diversity Means More” campaign — designed for all staff, faculty and learners to speak up and share their experiences, sentiments and thoughts around diversity, privilege, racism, injustice and the current racial climate.

“The last few months have demonstrated the ramifications of ignoring micro-aggressions, lack of diversity, inequities and institutional racism,” Brown said. “This campaign is designed to change that and make sure we build a more equitable future at Michigan Medicine.”

To highlight the value of diversity in the workplace, in health care and in the community, you are encouraged to share your unique thoughts and feelings in an effort to further educate Michigan Medicine on the life and workplace experiences of individuals who work, learn and receive care within the organization.

Diversity Means More submissions are open to all, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. All submissions are and will remain anonymous, and your unedited soundbites will be shared broadly across social media and digital platforms. Experiences and stories will also be shared regularly in Headlines as a part of the “Diversity Means More” series.

At Michigan Medicine, we are committed to change, and true change starts with awareness and understanding.

Click here to submit your stories, experience, thoughts and sentiments.

Thank you for helping prove that diversity means more at Michigan Medicine!

Join a June 23 webinar on inequities in medicine. Click here to register!