2020 turned into a momentous year for diversity training. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many diversity trainers, myself included, to re-invent themselves by adapting their workshops into an online format. The Memorial Day killing of George Floyd thrust anti-racism into the center of diversity training, challenging those presenters who had generally soft-pedaled the issue. President Donald Trump’s September 22 executive order, “Race and Sex Stereotyping,” caused government agencies and contractors, including some higher education institutions, to suspend or mute their diversity training.
Completing her second year as a pediatrics professor at the University of California, Riverside, Adwoa was focused on providing clinical training for her medical students. A retired UCR history professor, Carlos had no way of imagining that he would soon be joining the staff of a medical school. .
Then the UCR School of Medicine decided to establish a new required curricular thread on Health Equity, Social Justice, and Anti-Racism. Shortly after that, the School asked Adwoa and Carlos to become co-directors of the thread in order to get it started.
It was decision time for the two of us. Still at an early stage of her medical teaching career, Adwoa had numerous obligations. Experienced in health care cultural competence training, Carlos had been giving annual workshops on that topic to UCR’s incoming medical students. But establishing an entire curricular thread? That was a challenge. But also an opportunity. We couldn’t turn it down. Continue reading Diversity and Speech Part 14: Health Equity – by Carlos Cortés, Adwoa Osei