Diversity Means More: Team shares tools to build solidarity and a psychologically-safe culture

May 18, 2021  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership, ,
Diversity Means More: Building solidarity at Michigan Medicine

After several months of gathering feedback from faculty, staff and learners, the Speak Up and Show Solidarity subgroup of the Anti-Racism Oversight Committee (AROC) has developed a set of tools that will help promote a climate and culture where everyone will feel safe speaking up and showing solidarity against unlawful bias and discrimination.

The Speak Up/Show Solidary Toolkit (available on the subgroup’s webpage) fosters an inclusive culture of anti-racism by providing training, activities and resources on how to speak up and stand up for those who speak up.

The kit includes:

  • A team activity for our Leadership Commitment Speak Up Show Solidarity Statement.
  • A comprehensive list of easy to use/access training courses and related information on anti-racism, bias and discrimination. 
  • A series of Speak Up training scenarios which leverage the Bystander Intervention and Stepping-In training framework to help employees practice and build confidence in their ally and bystander skills.
  • Reporting mechanisms which can be followed if an individual is experiencing bias, discrimination or harassment at U-M. 

“In order to move forward along our path of creating a culture of belonging for all Michigan Medicine employees, we need to create safe and brave speaking up spaces,” said Steve Vinson, co-chair of the Speak Up subgroup. “We invite our entire Michigan Medicine community to engage these anti-racism resources in order to eliminate the harm that racial bias and discrimination has on our collective workplace well-being.”  

Vik Sukumar, also co-chair of the subgroup, added: “We have heard feedback that employees who experienced bias, devaluation or discrimination often did not feel comfortable reporting — either because they didn’t know how to report it, had a fear of retaliation or they weren’t validated in the past after speaking up. As a result, the undesired behavior went unaddressed.

“With the help of these resources, we hope to make everyone feel more comfortable speaking up, at all levels of the organization.”  

Michigan Medicine employees, leaders and teams are encouraged to use these tools in their departments, units or individually, to help build solidarity and a psychologically-safe culture, nurtured by the organization’s core value of inclusion.