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Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

As healers, scientists, faculty and learners in the VCU School of Medicine, we have a responsibility to condemn racism and all forms of discrimination. We will continue to own our history with transparency and humility, learning from the mistakes of the past and building on strengths of the present to create a more just and equitable future.

We are committed to fostering open dialogue with the community to inform meaningful actions and long-term, ongoing engagement.

Introducing our Interim Chief Diversity Officer

Kevin Harris, Ph.D., brings a wealth of experience in diversity work to his new position as interim senior associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion for the School of Medicine

In this inaugural role, Dr. Harris will lead the development and implementation of a diversity, equity and inclusion plan for the School of Medicine. Music by Filipe Leitão, VCU Music

Dialogue: What We Believe

We reaffirm the core values of human dignity and of mutual, unconditional respect, and we acknowledge our responsibility to condemn racism and all forms of discrimination.

Our students, trainees, faculty, staff, alumni and community members are valued partners who provide essential perspective and context for how we more forthrightly conduct this work. Listening is the first step in making meaningful change, and we are inspired and humbled by the feedback and engagement from our School of Medicine community.

Join the conversation

Action: What We Are Doing

We are collaborating across our campus, health system and university to foster a welcoming community that supports and values people of all cultural backgrounds and life experiences and makes our medical school a more diverse and representative place to work.

Cultivating such an environment is essential to the fulfillment of our mission to improve the quality of health care for humanity, and we are committed to engaging in dialogue across the breadth of our community to fuel our short-term, mid-range and long-term actions.

Read more about our initiatives


Where We Are Headed

As a pivotal step in turning dialogue into action, the School of Medicine is proud to announce its inaugural Inclusion Council. Members include students, trainees, faculty, staff, alumni and community members who are dedicated to this vital journey.

We remain committed to communicating openly and forthrightly about pertinent developments and activities moving forward, and we welcome your continued input, advocacy and engagement.

Learn more

Upcoming Events

Structuring Your Class to Create Inclusion, Community and Connection

Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, 3 – 4 p.m.

During this virtual workshop, a panel of faculty will share their approaches to fostering a sense of belonging in online classes. We will also share assessment data through our HHMI Inclusive Excellence in STEM program data about how students view inclusion. For those unable to attend, session materials and resources will be available afterward.

Learn more and register here

Social Justice and Contemplative Practice

Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, 2 – 3 p.m.

Kicking off VCU’s eighth annual MLK Week, this free virtual keynote panel will honor the legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Oliver Hill, Jr. and his work in the greater Richmond area.

Sign up here

Understanding Unconscious Bias

Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

This two-hour, instructor-led workshop from VCU will explore unconscious bias, the social stereotypes about groups of people that form outside of our own conscious awareness.

Register here

CIA Book Read: Black Man in a White Coat

Friday, January 22, 2021, 4 - 5 p.m.
Thursday, January 28, 7:30 - 8:30 a.m.

All members of the VCU community, including faculty, fellows, housestaff, Inova and VAMC faculty, are invited to discuss the book, Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine by Damon Tweedy. The group will be facilitated by Dr. Brandon Frett, hospitalist, Department of Internal Medicine, and Dr. Thokozeni Lipato, assistant professor, Department of Internal Medicine.

Register for the Jan. 22 discussion

Register for the Jan. 28 discussion

Becoming an Antiracist Educator: Higher Education Series

Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, 4:30 – 6:15 p.m.

Hosted by the VCU School of Education, this nine-part virtual series aims to help participants develop skills to dismantle systems that perpetuate racial inequities from a higher education perspective. Sessions take place via Zoom on Wednesdays, and School of Medicine faculty, staff and students will be charged a registration fee.

More information available here

Cancers Below the Belt: Wright Center Health Equity Series

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, 10 a.m.

Facilitated by Debbie Cadet, Ph.D., MSW, program manager for community health education and research at Massey Cancer Center, this virtual event will feature speakers and panelists for a discussion about prostate and colorectal cancer disparities in minority communities.

Learn more here

Learn more about other efforts to address race, diversity, equity and inclusion across VCU’s campuses and in the community.DEI Resources

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