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VCU Health and VCU Health Sciences recognize importance of inclusion during Global Diversity Awareness Month -- programs and activities

A multicultural group of individuals pose for a photo Photo: Getty Images

This story has been updated to reflect a change in date for VCU School of Medicine's Second Annual Lecture on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

At VCU Health, we are committed to creating a community that embraces diverse backgrounds, identities and lived experiences. A number of programs from across VCU Health and VCU Health Sciences will take place during Global Diversity Awareness Month this October. These events will give team members, students and community members opportunities to recognize the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in our academic medical center and throughout our community.

Breast Cancer Awareness & Health Disparity Forum

Join VCU Massey Cancer Center for a virtual forum featuring Massey Director Robert Winn, M.D., Vanessa Sheppard, Ph.D., associate director of community outreach engagement and health disparities and chair of VCU School of Medicine’s Department of Health Behavior and Policy, and medical oncologist Mary Helen Hackney, M.D.

The panelists will provide an overview of Massey and its focus on breast cancer care in the African American community. The first 150 registrants will receive a breast cancer awareness gift bag. This event is free and open to the public.

When: Monday, Oct. 4, 6-7:30 p.m.

Where: Virtual forum via Zoom

Register: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZItduyupzIuEtdZJeW56_rWVkN8vSWLBB4i

Hispanic Heritage Month Discussion Panel

VCU Health encourages team members to join Latinx colleagues from across the health system for a panel discussion in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Panel members will share their experiences as Hispanic people in health care.

Participants will discuss what the health system is doing to meet the needs of Hispanic patients and team members and will share their thoughts about other opportunities available to advance our mission of inclusivity and support.

When: Friday, Oct. 8, 12-1 p.m.

Where: /liveseminars

VCU School of Medicine’s Second Annual Lecture on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Kevin Harris, Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for VCU School of Medicine, will speak on “Diversity Imperative: Establishing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as Drivers of Excellence” at the school’s Second Annual Lecture on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

This event will engage the School of Medicine community in a pivotal conversation regarding the path forward in sustaining an inclusive and equitable work and learning environment.

During his talk, Harris will reflect on the circumstances that led to the development of the inaugural senior associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion role, report on the school’s current positioning in this space and provide a glimpse into what is yet to come as we marshal our collective ingenuity toward advancing diversity, equity and inclusion.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

When: Monday, Oct. 25, 12-1 p.m.

Where: Virtual event livestreaming at medschool.vcu.edu/about/dei

Second Annual VCU School of Dentistry Inclusive Excellence Week

VCU School of Dentistry will host its Second Annual Inclusive Excellence Week, led by the school’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and its director, Carlos Smith, D.D.S., M.Div., associate professor of dental public health and policy, along with the school’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

Events, offered daily at 12:15-1:15 p.m. during the week of Oct. 25-29, include:

  • Monday, Oct. 25: “History of Racism in Health Care” with speaker Carlos Smith, D.D.S., M.Div., from VCU School of Dentistry

  • Tuesday, Oct. 26: “Trauma Informed Care and the Health Needs of the LGBTQ+ Community,” with speaker and VCU graduate Melissa-Irene Jackson, M.S.W., from Virginia Planned Parenthood

  • Wednesday, Oct. 27: “Why All the Talk about Microaggressions,” with speaker Tamisha Williams of Tamisha Williams Consulting

  • Thursday, Oct. 28: “Spirituality & Health Care,” with speakers Angela Flack, M.Div., and the Rev. Marilyn J. D. Barnes, M.P.H., from VCU College of Health ProfessionsDepartment of Patient Counseling

  • Friday, Oct. 29: “Keynote: Moving from Unconscious Bias to Conscious Inclusion,” with keynote speaker Daisy Lovelace, Ph.D., from Duke University Fuqua School of Business

These events are free and open to the public. Dentists can also obtain free continuing education credits through the program.

When: Monday-Friday, Oct. 25-29, 12:15-1:15 p.m.

Where: Virtual events via Zoom

Register: https://reg.abcsignup.com/reg/event_page.aspx?ek=0017-0015-50539FCD9CE94CF3BFA2F67A75BA318E

VCU Health History and Health Program

In March 2021, VCU and VCU Health initiated the History and Health: Racial Equity series, open to all faculty, staff, students, VCU Health team members and the community. Recordings from this series on racial equity, specifically related to health outcomes for Black Americans, are available on the VCU Office of Health Equity website.

The series emerged as part of the VCU Health Equity Initiative and as a response to the VCU community’s feedback requesting more avenues for reflection on the university and health system’s role in history.

Those interested can explore how VCU Health's complex history affects our patients today and can help decide how we will use what we learn to improve health care for all. VCU and VCU Health employees and students who participate in a majority of the History and Health Program events and online modules can earn a virtual badge. VCU Health employees may count their History and Health Program participation hours toward their DEI training requirements.

When: Ongoing

Where: Online through recordings available at historyandhealth.com

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