Strategic Plan for Antiracism
To live up to our school’s guiding value that health is a human right, we have a responsibility to expose and dismantle racism’s influence wherever it is found, including within our own school.
In 2020, we began drafting a strategic plan to fundamentally change our school’s culture, perspectives, intentions, and actions. In May, George Floyd’s murder spurred a summer of civil unrest and we knew to was time for a profound change in our school. We accelerated our plan’s timeline and committed SPH to actively make diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and antiracism central to our operations and mission. The result is our Strategic Plan for Antiracism.
Everyone at SPH is being called on to play an active role in achieving the change we seek.
Here are some ways to get involved (not an exhaustive list):
- People in some areas of the school have very specific actions to take, as described in the plan.
- For many members of the SPH community, committing to the plan, working to create a welcoming environment, and recognizing and challenging racism are essential ways to get involved.
- Committing to the plan includes making time to read and understand it, asking questions when necessary, deciding to support its goals, and reflecting on how to advance the goals in your area. You can reach out to the lead stewards of each area for questions.
- Creating a welcoming environment includes spending time learning about and reflecting on racism and how it operates in your own life. This will help you consider what changes you need to make personally. You can also advocate for equitable policies and decisions at SPH.
- Challenging racism includes accepting that racism exists and to challenge it when we see it. Ways to recognize and challenge racism include:
- Ask a colleague or student to clarify a statement that came across as discriminatory.
- Report incidents of bias.
- Make sure your syllabus includes authors of color and from Indigenous communities.
- Allow students and team members the space, time, and flexibility to process racist events.
- Additional ways to get involved include (again, not an exhaustive list):
- Engage in (and give team members time to engage in) DEI events and training opportunities.
- Participate in DEI groups and committees.
- Learn about DEI-related topics by reading, listening to podcasts, watching films and documentaries, having conversations, and digging into other resources.
- Coordinate inclusive events.
- Talk about the plan and antiracism at meetings and events, and with colleagues.
- Examine your words and actions through an antiracism lens.
Core Principles of the Strategic Plan for Antiracism
- Make our SPH values “Health is a Human Right” and “Different Perspectives Make Us Stronger” the guiding tenets of all school actions.
- Align with the U of M system’s strategic plan that states it will: recruit and retain diverse talent; cultivate a welcoming and inclusive campus climate; and advance understanding and nurture enduring partnerships.
- Provide a clear path to put anti-racism, anti-oppression, and justice at the center of all we do.
- Create shared language and understanding so each and every member of SPH can support the plan.
Strategic Plan for Antiracism Planning Committee
- Lauren Eldridge, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (committee lead)
- Sophia Ibrahim Ali, SPH Graduate
- Sarah Bjorkman, Director of Communications and Marketing
- Susana Carlos, SPH Graduate
- Daniel Cheng, Associate Director of Recruitment and Admissions
- Marlin Farley Jr, Academic Advisor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health
- Mark Fiecas, Assistant Professor, Division of Biostatistics
- Simone French, Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health
- Tracey Kane, Assistant Human Resources Director
- Jessica Kowal, Chief Development Officer
- Heidi Mastrud, Director of Alumni Relations
- Donna McAlpine, Associate Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management
- Lisa Peterson, Professor, Division of Environmental Health Sciences
- Anne Phibbs, Founder and President of Strategic Diversity Initiatives
- Jennifer Porter, Assistant Dean for the Enrolled Student Experience
- Sabrina Roowala, SPH Graduate
- Gayle Smaller Jr., Coordinator of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Melissa Wuori, Executive Accounts Specialist