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For many, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) can feel overwhelmingly complex. This newsletter attempts to clarify DEI concepts with resources that are thematically related to the monthly VGEC CIRCAA program curriculum and DEI-adjacent observances. This month's newsletter features an updated presentation, starting with a DEI Community Question:

What is an example of a glaring DEI issue that you have experienced or witnessed at your organization? Were you and/or members of your organization able achieve a better outcome afterwards? Why or why not?


Share your response to this question.

We do not collect any identifying information in this response. Please be introspective, candid, and honest with your own biases and perspectives. We will feature some responses in next month's newsletter.

Some featured responses from last month's question: What advice do you have for those who want to be DEI advocates and aren’t sure how to start?
  • "Listen to views that challenge your own and practice withholding judgement or response. Instead, take time to consider these alternative views and how they might expand your own understanding of the world."
  • "I started by reading and reflecting on books recommended by those whose advocacy efforts I admire--including Caste: The Origins of our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson, The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee and How to Be An Antiracist by Ibram Kendi. When I started feeling defensive about what I was reading, I paused to try to figure out why. I also recommend looking for opportunities to talk with others who may have different life experiences or come from different backgrounds, really listening to what they have to say, and seeking common ground. Practicing humility is also helpful."

Some things I learned from this month’s newsletter

  • A dominant theme in this month's readings: clinical racism is insidious and can be intentionally buried behind artificial or administrative barriers.
  • A thoughtful quote from the literature review that looked at institutionalized racism in the public health literature (linked below):
    "Although institutionalized racism is recognized as a fundamental cause of health inequities, it was not often explicitly named in the titles or abstracts of articles published in the public health literature during 2002-2015. Our results highlight the need to explicitly name institutionalized racism in articles in the public health literature and to make it a central concept in inequities research. More public health research on institutionalized racism could help efforts to overcome its substantial, longstanding effects on health and well-being."

Be informed

ReadWhat's Race Got to Do With It? A Close Look at the Misuse of Race in Case-Based Nursing Education (Nurse Educator)

ReadNaming Institutionalized Racism in the Public Health Literature: A Systematic Literature Review (Public Health Reports)

Listen1619: How the Bad Blood Started (1619 Podcast, New York Times, 39 min)

ListenYou're Wrong About: The Tuskegee Syphilis Study (You're Wrong About Podcast, 77 min)

WatchExplained | Racial Wealth Gap (Explained Netflix, YouTube, 16 min)

This month's longread

In Southwest Virginia, Reestablishing A Rural Hospital System Requires Rebuilding Trust
"At the time of the 2018 merger, Ballad stated on its website: 'By creating Ballad Health, we’ll be able to generate savings and reinvest those savings to preserve access to care in rural areas.' It’s a daunting task. For eight years, folks in Lee County drove a half hour or more to neighboring Wise County, or beyond, to reach a hospital. They now welcome the return of their own, but are still awaiting further reassurance that Ballad’s decision-makers have their best interests at heart."

Picture to go

Dr. Teresa Tyson and the Health Wagon team have started to administer COVID-19 vaccines in this part of Appalachia by traveling door-to-door. Here, Tyson prepares to administer a vaccine to Marty Wells at his home in Norton, Virginia.

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