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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Update (10/11/22)

October 11, 2022
by Vandana Khungar and Aba Black

The month of October hosts numerous cultural and religious observances.

Latinx Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15. The recognition celebrates people with Latin American heritage. Disability Awareness Month is observed in the month of October. Belonging at Yale created a website that shares various engagement opportunities, resources, and courses that encourage recognition of our individual differences across our campus community. Belonging at Yale shared resources for each of these observance months. Follow these links to learn more: Focus on Latinx Heritage Month and Focus on Disability Awareness Month.

Last week, those who follow the Jewish faith observed the holiday of Yom Kippur. The day is considered a Day of Atonement and is marked with a 25-hour fast and religious ceremony.

On October 10, Indigenous Peoples’ Day is observed. The day recognizes the Indigenous communities in the United States. A few years ago, the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) and the Association of American Medical Colleges published a joint report called “Reshaping the Journey: American Indians and Alaska Natives in Medicine” that discussed the representation of American Indians and Alaska natives in medical education. Read the report to learn more.

The LGTBQ community celebrates two festivities this month, National Coming Out Day on October 11, and Spirit Day on October 21. National Coming Out Day celebrates all who are part of the LGTBQ+ community. Spirit Day urges everyone to take a pledge against bullying in support of LGTBQ youth and wear purple.

On October 24, the five-day festival of light, Diwali, begins. Diwali is a major religious event in Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism. Observances can vary by religion and region, but the festival always represents the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil.

Please join us in commemorating what makes our department and campus communities unique and vibrant.

We have had several successful recruitment events, including the Latino Medical Student Association residency fair on September 21, led by Isabel Bazan, MD, and Shaili Gupta, MBBS. Forty-two of the attendees expressed serious interest in Yale and we look forward to their involvement in the Yale community. On October 8, we participated in the Regional Medical Education Conference Mixer at Quinnipiac University, with excellent attendance of 50 students from URiM backgrounds interested in Yale. On September 10, a group of Yale residents visited Meharry to mentor and recruit students who may be interested in coming to Yale for residency. Our recruitment efforts will continue through the fall and winter. We are also looking forward to an informational session on November 3 for all URiM fellowship applicants in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.

If there are questions about any Department of Medicine diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, or an issue pertaining to DEI across the department for faculty, trainees, or staff, please contact Vandana. If you are a DEI vice chief and have a question or concern, please contact Aba. For GME-related DEI questions, please contact Steve Huot.

For this month’s “Voices of DEI,” we highlight Deborah Proctor, MD. You can read this column on the website and via social media. If you wish to participate as a featured voice of DEI and we welcome all to do so, please complete the survey at this link.

We are excited to partner with each of you on DEI initiatives.

Best wishes,

Vandana Khungar, MD, MSc (Interim Associate Chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)

Vice Chief for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | Digestive Diseases

Associate Professor of Medicine

Aba Black, MD, MHS (Interim Associate Chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)

Vice Chief for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | General Internal Medicine

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Submitted by Julie Parry on October 10, 2022