Work on diversity, equity and inclusion at UMSN continues, guided by strategic plan

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As the semester winds down, work at the School of Nursing towards goals set in the 2016-2021 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Plan is ramping up. The Implementation Committee, led by Senior Diversity Director Dr. Rushika Patel, has focused on three areas for intense work. These areas are: training and events; inventory and mapping of resources; and tracking and accessibility of relevant data.
 
School-wide effort
The committee does not work alone, however. Over 60 faculty, staff and students have joined into three working groups to address these areas. All are welcome and the committee believes that broad representation of the school in these three groups will translate into a comprehensive review and a collaborative calendar of activities.
 
School Culture
The first working group takes as its task to increase cultural competence of all members of our community and advance a culture of inclusivity that is respectful and engaging for all constituencies (strategic objectives B2 and C1, page 8). Their charge is to create a training schedule for UMSN faculty, staff and students for the 2017-18 academic year; create a calendar of DEI events to be held at UMSN, and inventory the already existing retention and support opportunities that are available for underrepresented students, staff and faculty, both at the School of Nursing and the U-M campus.
 
Commitments and Resources
The second working group addresses the requirement to enhance existing curricular requirements to include broader understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion in both didactic and clinical experiences (including virtual and actual clinical placements and simulations) (strategic objective B1, page 7). To reach this objective, the group will inventory and visually map DEI related resources and commitments for students, faculty, and staff. The map will be the basis for reflection and group consideration about what the map evokes and what strategic priorities should be further developed. The group will further compile a repository of educational and scholarly resources.
 
Data
The final working group focuses on significantly increase the proportion of faculty, staff and students from populations underrepresented in nursing; increase our retention of PUN faculty, staff and students; and improve methods for collecting, vetting, integrating and reporting feedback from the campus community (strategic objectives A1, A2, and D1, pages 4, 5, and 10). This group will think through ways of making these increases and improvements. It will also undertake an inventory of processes for reporting instances of microaggressions, bullying, prejudice and discrimination.
 
Recommendations
The three working groups will meet monthly from April to August, with these specific deliverables in mind. If members can't meet in person, they can provide feedback online. By September, the Implementation Committee hopes to have final recommendations for a training and event schedule and publicity plan for existing retention opportunities from working group one; a map of existing resources and commitments and recommendations for strategic priorities in resource development, including programs and/or projects from working group two; and a proposal for how to improve the school’s numbers and processes, a publicity plan for how to report instances of prejudice and/or discrimination, and recommendations for improvements to current recruiting strategies for students, faculty and staff from working group three.
 
“This is necessary, collaborative work for our community to undertake, and I am grateful to all those who have offered to give their time to focus on this,” Patel says. “I look forward to updating the school community in September with the plans that come out of these working groups.”