October 14, 2022

For the fourth consecutive year, leadership at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health has been honored with the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine for outstanding commitment to and ongoing promotion of inclusive excellence. The award reflects one of the school’s core values to build, support and sustain a diverse, equitable and inclusive anti-racist community that can address the impact of systemic racism on health inequities.

As a recipient of the annual Health Professions HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — the Gillings School will be featured, along with 64 other recipients, in the December 2022 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The Gillings School is one of two schools of public health to receive the award this year.

Two signature programs distinguish the historical commitment of the Gillings School to inclusive excellence. The Minority Health Conference is the largest and longest-running student-led health conference in the country. The conference seeks to raise awareness concerning health disparities and to mobilize coalitions of students, community members and academics to act for change. The 2022 Minority Health Conference was a virtual event held on Feb. 24-25. Co-led by students Takhona Hlatshwako and Victoria Triana, its theme, “Revolutionary Healing and Rebuilding,” created space to acknowledge the wounds of systemic racism, reflect on the structural challenges and barriers to health equity, and advance the work being done to sow seeds that will grow into more equitable systems for tomorrow

The Gillings School has also hosted the National Health Equity Research Webcast for over 25 years, covering topics such as structural racism, toxic stress and adverse childhood experiences, and the school-to-prison pipeline. This year’s theme was, “Environmental Justice: The Science, The People, The Politics.”

The Gillings School’s Minority Student Caucus (MSC), which works with the school administration to advocate for the needs of students of color, has lent critical support to both programs. MSC representatives currently serve on the Dean’s Council, Alumni Association and other committees throughout the Gillings School.

Dr. Kim Ramsey-White

Dr. Kim Ramsey-White

Leadership at the Gillings School is continuing to hone and implement the Inclusive Excellence Action Plan (IEAP) under the guidance of Kim Ramsey-White, PhD, associate dean for inclusive excellence, and the Inclusive Excellence Council, which is advisory to senior leadership that is charged with monitoring the progress of the action plan. The plan represents a road map for ensuring sustained equity in the school’s educational and workplace practices.

“Selection as the Health Professions HEED award winner for the fourth consecutive year is something we here at the Gillings School do not take for granted,” said Ramsey-White. “The intentional work we do around inclusive excellence framework has allowed us to continue developing new best practices and strategies for staying current and relevant in the diversity, equity and inclusion work. We appreciate the recognition of our work and are inspired to continue to be thought and action leaders in higher education.”

“The Health Professions HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a Health Professions HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for schools where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

Contact the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at sphcomm@unc.edu.

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