During the last month, I’ve connected with you about the imperativeness of inclusion and balancing the social justice scale. As we battle the global pandemic, we are also faced with a recurring, prevalent public-health crisis — racial inequities across all platforms including access to healthcare and disparities in outcomes. Leaders at Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) and those from our parent company, Adtalem Global Education, have joined together to create a framework that we believe will guide us in combating these injustices.
Today, we are proud to share a set of Social Justice Commitments that reflect our collective values and thinking and that will guide our journey toward meaningful action. At RUSM, we commit to:
Educating ourselves, our faculty, our colleagues and our students as part of a continuous effort to grow, learn and change.
- By Listening: We will create safe spaces for sharing, listening and engaging in uncomfortable conversations. We will build on recent listening sessions and student meetings to give our community members a platform to speak, be heard and be a part of the solution.
- By Learning: We will confront racism and unconscious bias to address and fight for social justice within RUSM through formal and informal training.
- By Studying: We will review our academic and non-academic experiences across our four-year curriculum, to ensure we are training and graduating physicians who will be a positive influence in the communities they serve with ethnic and racial sensitivity.
- By Acting: We will empower our Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce and other internal organizational groups with time and resources, and then act upon their collective recommendations.
Advocating for social justice by confronting and addressing racism, implicit bias and injustice at our university and in the communities we serve.
- By Increasing Diversity: We will further invest in expanding the diversity of our student body, faculty and colleagues, therefore expanding diversity in the medical and healthcare workforce.
- By Rooting Out Systemic Bias: We will continuously review the components of our curriculum, systems and processes to ensure that we are addressing any systemic bias within our institution.
- By Communicating: We will share our action plans and progress while also leveraging our platform to inspire external change.
- By Partnering: We will partner with organizations that share our values so we can collectively address this public health crisis and influence the healthcare industry, the professions of our students and alumni, and the communities in which we live and work.
RUSM and Adtalem will use these values to hold ourselves accountable to dismantle structural racism, prevent social injustice and bring awareness to unconscious bias. The Commitments will also serve as a north star for our newly formed Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce, which is charged with reviewing our current RUSM environment and developing recommendations to create a more inclusive space that embraces and celebrates the differences within our student, colleague and alumni communities.
As always, I welcome you to share your feedback with us during this community collaboration. RUSM remains invested in this process no matter how long it takes to achieve sustainable change.