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Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion launch new initiative
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In 2021, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing’s (NHWSN) Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) launched a new initiative focusing on Social Justice Education and Inclusive Excellence, DiversityEdu. This initiative is part of the school’s commitment to live out Emory’s mission that “welcomes a diversity of ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic, religious, national, and international backgrounds, believing that the intellectual and social energy that results from such diversity is critical to advancing knowledge.” The school-wide project builds on sustained efforts to engage the NHWSN working and learning community around evolving diversity, equity, and inclusion issues. 

As a kick-off, they launched DiversityEdu, comprised of three online courses entitled, Communication for Inclusion, Engagement with Diversity, and the Influence of Unconscious Bias. These courses served as a foundational learning tool that examines essential concepts relative to micro-aggressions, bystander intervention, and practical strategies individuals can take to gain knowledge and learn skills to effectively engage when diversity challenges arise. We know that creating an environment where everyone feels safe, affirmed, and welcomed requires buy-in, especially the leadership. With the endorsement, commitment, and unwavering support from Dean Linda McCauley and her Leadership Council, as of April 2022, 100% of faculty and 100% of staff respectfully completed the entire suite of DiversityEdu courses.

“We hope the SON community will continue to engage in diversity, equity, and inclusion educational offerings in the future,” said Benjamin G. Harris, MS Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. “The work of DEI is not a destination, but a journey. By being a part of such a diverse organization, we must continue learning from each other to refine our engagement tools. The more we develop our individual DEI muscles, the stronger we will be collectively.” 

With 49% of the current SON student body identifying as people of color and 49% identifying as white, we understand the positive impact of diversity on our learning community and the nursing profession. Furthermore, we recognize the need to provide our staff and faculty with the tools to engage within a multicultural and multigenerational environment effectively that values the richness diversity offers. When an organization’s leadership champions professional development around diversity, equity, and inclusion, it builds innovation, productivity, scholarship, and community connectedness.

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