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WHRY's DEIB Committee Holds Listening and Learning Sessions

July 17, 2023

Over the last year, WHRY’s Advisory Council’s Committee on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) has been leading an effort to understand DEIB issues as experienced both at Yale and in the greater New Haven community.

The committee’s co-chairs, Patricia Brett and Diane Young Turner, created a series of “listening sessions” held monthly for council members to hear directly from various school and community leaders about challenges and opportunities they see in their efforts to promote DEIB. The sessions provided council members a chance to learn about the community and gain a greater awareness of where WHRY may be able to contribute.

The sessions began with presentations from representatives of Yale University – which added “Belonging” to the acronym “DEI” to make the point that all members of the diverse university community are welcome and respected.

Cindy Crusto, PhD, Yale Medical School’s Associate Dean for Gender Equity and Director of the Office for Women in Medicine and Science outlined her office’s comprehensive plan for promoting equity and inclusion of all women who are on the faculty of the medical school. This plan includes establishing mentorship opportunities that pair early career women with senior women in the medical sciences, professional development workshops, review processes for tenure and promotion policies, and enhanced access to child and elder care.

Directing attention to the New Haven community, Maritza Bond, MPH, the Director of Public Health for the City of New Haven provided data-driven information on the city’s efforts to promote health equity and advance health outcomes. She shared the city’s focus on improving health literacy among all factions of New Haven’s diverse population, which includes implementing programs to ensure that everyone, regardless of their background, has access to and can understand important health information. Moreover, the city has been proactive in establishing vaccine clinics to boost immunization rates, opening "back to school" health care clinics to reduce school absenteeism, and hosting a “drug take back” program aimed at reducing stigma and ensuring proper disposal of unused substances and prescription medication.

“Awareness can spur advocacy, and it is wonderful to see different institutions and agencies taking action, benefiting from diverse voices, and building welcoming communities,” Brett said.

Submitted by Amanda Steffen on July 03, 2023