About Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Department of Behavioral Science

Why DEI in BSC

“The faculty, staff and students of the Department of Behavioral Science have a shared mission of encouraging diversity and inclusivity and promoting equity in health and community.  Our Department has committed to impact diversity, equity and inclusivity during the current academic year by establishing a White Coats for Black Lives Fellowship program for medical students and creating a new administrative role - Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  The Director will serve as both the Chair of the Department Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council and as a College of Medicine Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador.” -Thomas H. Kelly, PhD, Interim Chair, Department of Behavioral Science 

Mission Statement

Established in 2019, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council is an action-oriented group composed of a diverse representation of six faculty members and two staff members from the Department of Behavioral Science. The DEI Council will provide leadership, accountability, and recommendations to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment within the Department of Behavioral Science. The DEI Council’s mission is grounded in broad principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion as they relate to academic medicine, and more specifically behavioral science

Working Definitions

Diversity as a core value embodies inclusiveness, mutual respect, and multiple perspectives and serves as a catalyst for change. In this context, the DEI Council is mindful of all aspects of human differences such as socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, geography, disability, and age.

Equity is a condition achieved when everyone has the opportunity to attain their full potential and no one is disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of their social position or other socially-determined circumstance.

Inclusion is a core element for successfully achieving diversity. Inclusion is achieved by nurturing the climate and culture of the institution through professional development, education, policy, and practice. The objective is creating a climate that fosters belonging, respect, and value for all and encourages engagement and connection throughout the department.

Featured Faculty/Student Research

Dr. Anita Fernander will be leading a project or Black Boys and Men in Medicine (6th grade pilot project) that is kicking off this Fall: The dearth of Black males applying to medical school and entering the field of medicine has been described as an American crisis (Laurencin & Murray, 2017). Historical and contemporary social, political, and economic challenges have contributed to low numbers of Black males in the medical school pipeline. The Black Boys and Men in Medicine (BBAMM) initiative was developed to respond to the clarion call of increasing the representation of Black males in medicine by targeting and capitalizing on the assets of Black males across the education pipeline (from kindergarten through medical school; K-M) through culturally-appropriate partnerships with key stakeholders across the spectrums of community, family, and education. The overall goal of the initiative is to expose Black youth to the field of medicine and lead to the development of a professional medical identity. To establish the feasibility and acceptability of the larger BBAMM initiative among a cohort of Black youth in the 6th grade, the following specific aims are proposed as a pilot study:  Specific Aim 1: To document the capacity and feasibility of conducting BBAMM programming and mentoring activities among a cohort of Black 6th grade boys over an initial period of one academic year. Specific Aim 2: To evaluate preliminary process outcomes and acceptability of BBAMM programming via the assessment of students and parents.  

Contact Information