Dear IHP Community,

Today, we celebrate the life and many contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was a Baptist minister who was the leader of the civil rights movement from 1954 to the time of his murder in 1968. He not only was a spiritual leader but an activist who believed in nonviolent resistance to institutional and social racism and believed that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." In his most famous "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963, Dr. King called for an end to racism in the United States and for civil and economic rights for all people of color. 

For most, the Martin Luther King holiday is just another day off from school or work. But for many of us, it’s a day for refection, recognizing situations where racism exists and examining our own contributions to institutional racism. I hope that for some of us, it’s a day where we live the values of community service and concrete action that Dr. King held so prominently in his beliefs.

We all have a responsibility to learn about Dr. King and live his values on this day in his honor. But the work of Dr. King does not happen over the course of one day or one week or one year. To honor him, we must commit our lives to the teachings and principles he stood for, to do the work of making the world more just and equitable while standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves in the face of oppression and injustice. Dr. King said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'" This is the challenge he left us, and this is the work that honors his legacy.

At the MGB level, the United Against Racism programs provide resources to help us learn about systemic and institutional racism and develop strategies to address it when we see it in our organization and in our lives. The IHP, through the work of the JEDI Office with faculty, staff, and students, has been working on strategies to educate our community and improve our organization, making it a place where everyone feels welcomed and valued and has a sense of belonging. We know it always will be a work in progress but our commitment to this keeps us focused on our activities and the goals we have set for the IHP. 

Dr. King also said, "We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." Martin Luther King Day comes at a challenging time for the IHP, but that does not change our hope for the future and our steadfast commitment to creating a more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive community. We have hope for the future of the IHP and for the future that Dr. King aspired to.

In the spirit of Dr. King’s commitment to creating social justice impact, we have included some of the many initiatives, led by the JEDI office and other members of the IHP community, that address the goals we set out two years ago:

  • Develop an IHP diversity statement/pledge (completed with commitment to equity and anti-oppression).
  • JEDI strategic action plans
    • SHRS established its anti-oppression task force in 2021 and SON established its JEDI collaborative in 2022 to work on school goals.
    • We are in the process of finalizing the JEDI core competencies, which will help us with curriculum alignment.
    • JEDI Council has been restructured to provide feedback on JEDI strategic priorities for the IHP.
  • Support of faculty, staff, and students of color
    • There are Employee Resource Groups for faculty and staff, spaces for student support, JEDI programming, and individual consultations. JEDI Fellows have been integral in creating spaces for students to connect and learn from each other.
  • Power Privilege and Positionality (PPP) program
  • Training and workshops
    • The IHP-Anti-Oppression Collaborative (ACE) has been busy with providing consultations and workshops. Over 20 workshops this academic year have been provided to IHP members in addition to PPP offered three times a year.
    • MGB has provided required Stepping Stones and Ending Racism workshops. PPP and other IHP workshops build on this learning. We are continually working on alignment with the curriculum as well as co-curriculum. Examples include collaborating with the Ann Caldwell lecture series, Libguides, Padlet, JEDI Community of Practice, and collaboration with the Bellack Library on a Reading Club.
  • Bias reporting
    • The student incident reporting mechanism is available to report instances of bias. A standalone email with additional details will be sent from Dean of Students Dr. Jack Gormley and Chief Equity Officer Dr. Kimberly Truong.
  • Data
    • The JEDI Council continues to review diversity and inclusion survey data and plans to again share and discuss the results with the IHP community in the near future.
  • JEDI Leadership Award
    • We are proud to recognize School of Nursing Associate Professor Dr. Eleonor Pusey-Reid as the inaugural recipient of this new annual award. 
  • Enrollment Management
    • Over the past three years, our student of color population has increased by 5%.

I look forward to joining together over the course of this semester, as a community, to celebrate our collective commitment to all of our goals for 2023.
With warm regards,