The Institute’s recent conference included multiple presentations by faculty, staff, students, and alumni on a range of topics at the intersection of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

When nursing faculty members Dr. Eleonor Pusey-Reid, Dr. John Wong, and Dr. Lisa Quinn looked at foundational nursing textbooks, they noticed the imagery didn’t seem to accurately represent the skin tone composition of the country and globally. 

Using a seed grant Pusey-Reid received from the MGH Institute’s School of Nursing for their research project entitled “Image Analysis of Dark Skin Tone Representation in Foundational Nursing, the faculty and graduate nursing student Andrea (Andy) Wucherpfennig reviewed 15 foundational textbooks used by nursing programs across the country and globe. After reviewing more than 10,000 photographs and 4,000 graphics on thousands of pages, the team found that light skin tone people were in 60.9% of photos and 82.8% of graphics, far more than the country’s light skin tone population of 59.3%. 

“These findings suggest that, because of the practice of normalizing light skin and possible bias by authors and publishers in the selection of images for nursing textbooks, students are not sufficiently prepared to recognize skin conditions on different skin tones, contributing further to health inequities,” said Wong, who presented the findings at the IHP’s recent Social Justice Research Conference. “We hope that authors and publishers will be more careful and intentional in the future to ensure representation of different skin tones in photo images and graphical illustrations, and instructors will supplement knowledge from textbooks with additional images from other sources in their teaching.” 

For Dr. Kimberly Truoug, the school’s Chief Equity Officer, the intersectionality of research and social justice issues is something the Office of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) remains focused on. 

“At the IHP, we talk about advancing care for a diverse society so it's really important for us to think about how research through an equity lens,” said Truong, who noted that since 2021, there have been more than three dozen research articles and presentations by faculty on the subject. “The goal is to help others have conversations about research focused on JEDI issues and be able to engage across different constituency groups at the school as well as sharing good practice with other institutions who might be struggling with how to engage in JEDI activities and initiatives.” 

The virtual event began with Dr. Samuel D. Museus, who served as the event’s keynote speaker and delivered the E. Lorraine Baugh Visiting Faculty lecture, entitled, How to Ensure Research is Socially Just.  

“The things that we've experienced over the last five or 10 years have created circumstances that have signaled to many of us that we have to take a step back and rethink the way that we research,” Museus, Director of the National Institute for Transformation and Equity and a professor at University of California San Diego, said, “or at least think about the way we're approaching the work to make sure that we're doing that in a way that's most aligned with our espoused social justice goals.” 

He touched on several subjects, including how spurious research such as the eugenics movement in the early 20th century has had negative effects on people of color. 

“Research has been used historically as a tool to enact harm on underserved and subjugated communities ranging from imperialist and colonizing efforts that justified those acts,” he said. “This is a history that we inherit. It's a history that we have to be aware of and take into account as we do this work.” 

The keynote was followed by a plenary session by School of Nursing faculty Dr. Clara Gona, Dr. Patricia Reidy, and Dr. Elaine Tagliareni, Truong, and Pusey-Reid, who presented, “Navigating the road to justice and equity in a school of nursing: A quality improvement program.”  

The event finished with four concurrent sessions by IHP faculty, staff, and students that focused on JEDI curriculum, pedagogy, and engagement tools; JEDI support, preparation, and language in curriculum, LGBTQIA+ patient care and training; and health disparities, consciousness, and responsiveness for BIPOC patients. 


Plenary Session 
Navigating the road to justice and equity in a school of nursing: A quality improvement program (Gona, Pusey-Reid, Reidy, Truong, & Tagliareni) 

Breakout Sessions 
JEDI Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Engagement Tools  

  • Image analysis of dark skin tone representation in foundational nursing textbooks (Wong, Wucherpfennig, Quinn, & Pusey-Reid) 

  • Engaging teens in conversations of race and disability (Mansour) 

  • The Impact of Introducing a Curriculum in Social Emergency Medicine (SEM) at a Private Tertiary Care Center in Karachi, Pakistan (Ali) 

JEDI Support, Preparation, and Language in Curriculum 

  • An Analysis of Students’ Perceptions of Support Related to Equity, Diversity, and 

  • Inclusion Factors During Level II Fieldwork Planning Process (Banker, Kahn, Schauupp, Tyler, & Bayangos) 

  • Examining student preparation for advancing care in a diverse society: A qualitative study on curricular, clinical, and cocurricular alumni experiences (Ndiwane, Truong, Young, Kariaki, & Shah) 

  • Power of inclusive language in undergraduate nursing education (Salguero & Wocial) 

LGBTQIA+ Patient Care, and Training 

  • Gender-neutral and affirming terminology to advancing health care for LGBTQIA+ persons (Makosky & Johannes) 

  • Supporting gender-neutral pronoun use through awareness training (Meyer, Atkinson, & Parry-Cruwys) 

  • Phalloplasty in transgender men: Management for primary care provider (Xie) 

Health Disparities, Consciousness, and Responsiveness for BIPOC Patients 

  • Risk factors impacting cardiovascular health in Latinx immigrants (Nambu) 

  • Barriers to hypertension management in primary care for BIPOC patients (Lapitan) 

  • The effect of working with non-majority clients on students' cultural responsiveness (Wolford) 

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