Soaring for Change - Update On the 2020 Initiative

Over 50 members from across the department joined us for a brainstorming session on December 11, 2014. We concluded by folding paper cranes as a personal and collective act toward a more intentional commitment to diversity, inclusion and health equity. Please see them all mounted on the 2nd floor of Alumni Hall welcoming people into the residency hallway.

We are very excited to report that with the support of the Executive Team we will be embarking upon Phase 2 that we are calling the “Action Phase” built around these concepts:

Training; Recruiting; Unlearning and learning; Sustaining and retaining; and Tracking (TRUST).

Attached is a summary of Phase 1 and proposal for Phase 2. Materials from the phase 1 “Engagement Phase” may be found at

A new Diversity Committee has been chartered and we are accepting nominations (including self-nominations) to serve on this committee. Please provide your (the nominee’s) name and a description of your (his/her) current position as well as why you would like to (or this nominee should) serve on this committee.  Please submit your nominations to by April 30th and selection will be made by the Executive Team by May 31st. If a strong nominee does not fit in the membership categories, the Executive Team may amend the charter or add “at large” members.

All committee members will receive training from a modified workshop called “Searching for Excellence and Diversity” workshop hosted by WISELI to be held in the early autumn ( We are hoping to have all medical directors, clinic managers and members of the executive, administrative, and leadership teams also participate in this event.

Whether you are able to join the Diversity Committee or not, we hope that you will continue to stay engaged and support our work with your own voice or feet. We are certainly in-line with campus-wide efforts to improve diversity issues and are leading the way at the UWSMPH.  “Forward Together, a Diversity Framework” was released on March 1st ( from the Chancellor’s Office. Please consider attending one of the April sessions listed on the website that will introduce how implementation of the university’s plan will occur.  Our department’s strategic planning events also provide a forum for voicing your thoughts and ideas on diversity, inclusion and health equity.  We are also hoping to arrange for leaders from around the country to provide a symposium on their successes with diversity issues at their institutions. So stay tuned.

Jennifer Edgoose and Robin Lankton