Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

10 Things You Can Do to Promote Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The UW School of Nursing’s mission is to advance nursing science and practice through generating knowledge and educating future leaders to address health for all.  To achieve this, we must espouse principles and practices that promote and advance anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion.  As a start, below is a list of things you can do in support of the school’s mission.  Importantly, approaching these things with cultural humility (a mindset and process that allows one to be open to others’ identities through respectful inquiry and empathy; see more here) and accountability for one’s actions is needed to be genuine and effective in living up to our organizational commitment. 

  1. STATE A LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:  A land acknowledgement is a formal statement honoring Native people and paying tribute to the original inhabitants of the land you occupy.  At the UW, it is common to hear a land acknowledgement shared at the start of a meeting or as part of a group’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion work.  The land acknowledgement commonly used at UW is, The University of Washington acknowledges the Coast Salish peoples of this land, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suquamish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations.  UW Tribal Relations is a campus resource for guidance on how to develop and share a land acknowledgement.  Using a land acknowledgement is only one way to promote recognition and support of Native communities; learn more about Native unity and advocacy in Seattle-King County at Seattle Urban Native Non-Profits and Real Rent Duwamish.
  2. UNDERSTAND DIFFERENT LEVELS OF RACISM:  Racism manifests in different forms, from interpersonal overt acts of hate to subtle institutionalized ways of creating unequal conditions that disadvantage groups.  To be antiracist, it is helpful to have some fundamental understandings of how racism plays out.  A good starting point is Dr. Camara Jones’ allegories about racism and its impact on health (video recording here), including A Gardener’s Tale, and, A Cliff Analogy,.  Also, the video recording of Dr. Ben Danielson’s keynote presentation about reckoning and the need for individual, organizational, and societal commitment to address racism, given at the UW School of Nursing antiracism learning day on March 29, 2021, is available here.  And, for educators, the UCSF Primer and Toolkit for Medical Educators is a resource that offers antiracist methods to examine and revise what and how you teach.  More starting point resources for foundational, critical knowledge about racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion topics are available here.
  3. TAKE NOTE OF YOUR IMPLICIT BIASES:  We all unknowingly hold associations about other people based on their identities, like race/ethnicity, age, gender, ability, nativity, socioeconomic status, to name a few.  These associations operate as biases that occur or are expressed automatically, without conscious awareness or intention; though they do affect our judgments, decisions, and actions.  Often, implicit bias produces behavior that diverges from the explicit attitudes that we hold.  The Implicit Association Test can (without charge) be accessed and taken online (here) to measure one’s implicit bias in relation to race, gender, age, religion, and other topics.  Training modules on how implicit bias occurs and how to interrupt it in the clinical setting and learning environment have been created by the Center for Health Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (here) and the Center for Health Sciences Interprofessional Education Research & Practice (first register here; access content here).  As the UW Race & Equity Initiative points out, “we must recognize that biases do reside in us all, but that we can change our attitudes and our interactions for the better.”
  4. ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR POSITIONALITY:  The concept of positionality recognizes how different aspects of your social identities (e.g., race, age, gender, class, nativity, ability, to name a few) work together to create understanding and views of your place within social systems, structures, and networks.  It is also important to take note of how our social identities are linked to inequitable and unequal systems of power and privilege, and how this influences your perspectives, interactions, and relationships with others and their social identities.  Key to fostering an inclusive climate is acknowledging and being mindful of your positionality.  An example from the University of British Columbia of how to examine your positionality is available here.  If you are in an educator role, this module here from UW Continuing Nursing Education (1.0 contact hour; free upon registration and checkout, disregard $.01 when registering) and this publication here can help you consider positionality in the context of course instruction.
  5. USE INCLUSIVE LANGUGE:  Inclusive language is word choice that promotes the acceptance and value of all people, free from words or phrases that may exclude or stereotype them based on attributes or membership to a particular group.  Inclusive language is centered around including and empowering everyone in the audience.  It is important to note that language is fluid, and the meaning and connotations of words change over time.  Guidance on inclusive language is available from UW Brand Management’s “Communicating with an Equity Lens” (available here) and UW Continuing Nursing Education “Principles of Inclusive Language” (available here).
  6. RESPECT PERSONAL PRONOUNS:  Offer your personal pronouns when introducing yourself or when displaying your name on screen (e-mail, online video calls).  For example, you can say, “My name is Butch de Castro.  I use he and him pronouns.  I am a professor in the UW School of Nursing.”  To add your pronouns to your UW name so it is automatically a part of your e-mail name and other UW-related notifications, go to http://identity.uw.edu/ and add to your last name, for example, [– she, her], [– he, him], [– they, them], or other terms or combinations; note that some typing characters are not allowed.  Also, when referring to a generic type of person in the singular, use they/them pronouns instead of binary gender pronouns (she/her, he/him).  For example, rather than saying “Whenever a student will be late to class, he or she should alert his or her professor as soon as possible;” say, “Whenever a student will be late to class, they should alert their professor as soon as possible.”  You can learn more about personal pronouns here.
  7. ATTEND A “HEALS” TRAINING:  HEALS training workshops are conducted quarterly by the UW School of Nursing.  Developed by the UCSF School of Nursing, HEALS (Halt, Engage, Allow, Learn, & Synthesize) is a structured approach to help create respectful and inclusive environments.  You will learn how to identify, deconstruct, and address bias, stereotyping, microaggressions, or exclusionary behavior through proactive measures and responsive steps.  HEALS is a way to address the impact of what was said or done, and not the person who said/did what was problematic; as well as center those potentially impacted and not on the intent of the person saying it.  Look for an announcement to join us in a supportive, school-community session to learn about HEALS.
  8. REPORT BIAS AND DISCRIMINATION:  A bias incident involves any discriminatory act against an individual or a group based on their age, religion, ability, race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, socioeconomic status, or any other identity.  If you encounter, observe, or suspect incidents of bias or discrimination, you can file a bias incident report, that will be reviewed by the UW Bias Incident Advisory Committee.  Whenever possible, bias reports will be reviewed within 2 to 4 business days.  Other university policies and resources for reporting, getting assistance, and investigating bias and discrimination are listed here.
  9. APPLY BEST PRACTICES FOR FACULTY/STAFF SEARCHES, RECRUITMENT, AND HIRING:  The university promotes the recruitment, hiring, retention, and success of a diverse, inclusive faculty and staff; in alignment with goals articulated in the  UW Diversity Blueprint.  Toolkits of best practices are available for hiring managers and search committees as they seek to increase efforts regarding outreach and building a diverse applicant pool.  These toolkits include resources about policies, procedures, planning, checklists, outreach, applicant/candidate review and selection, and onboarding and retention.  Diversity best practices toolkit for faculty available here and for staff available here.  And, this welcome video here about the UW Race & Equity Initiative can be used for faculty and staff orientation.
  10. PURCHASE FROM SMALL, LOCAL, AND DIVERSE BUSINESSES:  The UW Business Diversity Program (BDP) promotes UW’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion by encouraging the UW community to work with small, local and diverse businesses when sourcing and purchasing goods and services.  Collaborating with Procurement Services and Capital Planning & Development, BDP connects buyers with diverse suppliers, and provides guidance and networking opportunities for companies who want to do business with the UW.  Support the communities UW serves by considering a diverse supplier when planning and making purchasing decisions.  The UW has many diverse suppliers providing a wide array of goods and services ranging from catering to consulting services and office supplies to promotional products.  See list here (e.g., catering, consulting services, office supplies, promotional products).  

We encourage all to continuously seek out opportunities for personal growth and learning.  Additional DEI resources can be found on the suite of UW School of Nursing DEI webpages and Intranet Sharepoint DEI site.