Dignity & Respect Month at the Institute
For the second consecutive year, January has been designated as Dignity and Respect month at the Institute. As part of its role in providing leadership for assuring an inclusive and welcoming environment to all, the Institute’s Diversity Council has formally subscribed to a national Dignity and Respect Campaign, whose motto is “Making the world a better place for all to live – with all of our differences.” The campaign offers 30 daily tips, which will be included in the IHP Daily News and on video monitors throughout campus throughout the month. As the campaign notes, “Inclusion begins with a core belief that everyone deserves dignity and respect.” One of the daily tips that most resonates with me is to “Treat others the way they want to be treated,” which means we each have a responsibility to learn from others whose backgrounds, values, beliefs, religions, customs, age, color, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, and abilities are different from our own; to learn what’s important to them; and to do so in a reciprocal climate of openness and civility. In so doing, we prepare ourselves to exhibit the same openness, civility, respect for, and understanding of those in our broader community and our increasingly global society. As members of the Institute community, we have collectively affirmed our commitment to a set of core values. These core values are principles that represent our deeply held beliefs and guide how we behave toward each other and in our relationships with the outside world. In essence, our espoused core values reflect our highest priorities and our commitments to ourselves and to others to act in ways consistent with these values. One of our most fundamental core values commits us to creating “an inclusive and equitable environment that is respectful of diversity in its broadest meaning.” This commitment is one of the four pillars of our Inclusive Excellence Model, a commitment to create an inclusive, equitable and welcoming campus climate that is respectful and supportive of all members of the Institute community. An inclusive climate ensures that all members of our community feel equally welcomed and respected, in daily interactions with each other, whatever the venue – in the classroom, lab and clinical learning environments as well as informal and social settings. While our aim is to raise awareness and cultivate daily habits that remind us how we should treat each other and all those we come in contact with, dignity and respect must be part of our institutional fabric throughout the year. Creating and sustaining the kind of learning and work environments that support inclusiveness and a welcoming campus climate, one that enriches each of us, is a shared responsibility of all of us who are members of the Institute community. We will not fully realize that commitment unless we each make it a personal priority, so I invite you to join the more than 236,000 people who already have taken the Dignity & Respect Pledge to assist in your efforts.