The inclusive excellence action plan is a collaborative, living document that guides the efforts of the Gillings community as we work toward inclusive excellence.

Community Conversations with Inclusive Excellence (Sept. 14, 2021)

Jeffrey Simms, MSPH, Interim Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence and Assistant Professor, Health Policy and Management; and Yesenia Merino, PhD, Director, Inclusive Excellence education and training, and other members of the Inclusive Excellence team discuss the Inclusive Excellence Action Plan with the first community conversation of the year.

Watch the video

Our mission at Gillings is to educate the next generation of public health leaders in a way that holds public health accountable and responsible to communities we serve. As such, a commitment to inclusion throughout the School is imperative to us living into our values. In order to meet that commitment, as well as meet the increasingly diverse needs of North Carolina communities, we must ensure that the climate within which we train public health professionals is an inclusive one – a learning environment that fosters participation of all its members and perpetuates sustained equity and inclusion.

Our commitment to excellence, professional ethics and personal integrity in all that we do demands that we consider the needs of the least-often served first and that we act in accordance with what is the most beneficial to communities that have historically been marginalized or ignored by less nuanced population health efforts.

Spring 2021 Update:

The inclusive excellence action plan is a living document that undergoes periodic revision. In the meantime, there are unmet DEI needs that need to be addressed. Thus, the work to push inclusive excellence and antiracism forward at Gillings must continue across all units of the School.

The Inclusive Excellence Team is actively working to make several updates to the September 2019 plan including:

  1. shifting the recommendations identified in the initial plan to action-oriented focus areas
  2. revisiting and revising Gillings’ diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) priorities with the Inclusive Excellence Council
  3. adding research as a 6th committee on the Inclusive Excellence Council and 6th focus area on the action plan

The revised plan was discussed at the September 14, 2021 Community Conversation with Inclusive Excellence. The video recording of that discussion will be uploaded shortly. For additional information, please contact

An orientation at the start of the academic year helps students meet new friends and colleagues.

View the current action plan

Click here to see the latest version of the inclusive excellence action plan.

Previous versions of the action plan

Periodically, the Gillings community comes together to revisit and revise our strategies toward inclusive excellence. Click below to see previous iterations of the action plan.

Group having a discussion at 2019 National Health Equity Research Webcast
Scene at Polk Place immediately after

Evolution of the action plan

The inclusive excellence action plan initially began with a community meeting where the Gillings community came together to strategize for collective action following the toppling of a confederate statue. What emerged was a larger conversation about improving the inclusive climate at the School.