One of our foundational strategies for culture change is building the capacity of our institution to understand and dismantle systemic racism. The Equity Champion role is a key part of our campuswide initiative for culture change.

Equity Champion positions are open to faculty and staff at every level and from all departments and divisions. We are committed to consideration of the value each individual will bring to this effort. Equity-centered culture change requires that people in different roles and experiences are represented throughout the process. We recommend individuals who bring expertise and experience with diversity, equity and inclusion and individuals who have interest and are looking for experiences and professional development in this area.

Position description

The faculty and staff in this role will receive professional development to support their competency in leading discussions and training around anti-racism culture change and leadership within their department. Champions will serve for a minimum two year term, with the potential to be invited to continue.

Equity Champions will work closely with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) and the Understanding Systemic Racism (USR) Curriculum Committee to provide support and leadership in four primary ways:

  1. Outlining plan for delivery of the Understanding Structural Racism (USR) curriculum
    Champions will support the planning and scheduling of training delivery for their department in partnership with ODEI.
  2. Consultation for tailoring the USR curriculum
    Champions will work with committee members to tailor portions of the curriculum for their department to ensure maximum relevance and application.
  3. Facilitation of the USR curriculum
    Champions will help co-facilitate (with ODEI and USR team members) small group discussions throughout the training with potential for promotion to independent/lead facilitator after one year.
  4. Lead policy/procedure review
    Champions will consult with ODEI to review selected policies/standard practices and other key decision making points with equity lens and make recommended changes.

Competencies

Equity Champions should demonstrate the following skills/ability to learn:

  • Awareness. Basic understanding of the systemic nature of oppression and the difference between equality and equity. Self-reflection on own identity and bias, and ability to decenter self in discussion while also sharing enough to model vulnerability.

  • Listening. Ability to listen actively and hear what every learner or team member is saying.

  • Questioning. Skilled in asking questions that are open ended and stimulate discussion.

  • Problem solving. Skilled at applying group problem-solving techniques.

  • Resolving conflict. Recognize that conflict among group members is natural. Conflict should be expected, leaned into and managed productively.

  • Empathizing. Able to “walk a mile in another’s shoes” to understand the learners’ or team members’ feelings, experiences with curriculum.
  • Understanding. Recognition of the social, environmental, and structural determinants of health and the connection between their presence/absence which reflects the success and health of communities

  • Leadership. Ability to be courageous and committed to the on-going nature of equity work, understanding of power and privilege.

  • Collaboration. Ability to partner with dignity and respect, across roles and departments

  • Cultural responsiveness and humility. Basic understanding of the need to tailor approaches to meet specific needs of students, staff, faculty, research participants, patients, and families.

Commitment and time allocation

Equity Champions are asked to commit to two-years of service in the role with supported time from their department or division. Based on success, facilitation skills, and perceived need for ongoing training, Champions may be invited to continue for at least another two-year term, either remaining as a co-facilitator or with promotion to independent facilitator. The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hopes to add additional Champions within departments and divisions over time.

Department/division commitment

  • Departmental commitment is based on faculty/staff numbers and departmental structure.
  • Please speak to your division chief or department chair for details on effort and time required.
  • Minimum effort is 0.1 FTE or ½ day per week per individual faculty or staff member. In addition, Faculty and Staff must obtain division commitment to clear applicant from work/clinical duties the week of October 11 – 15, 2021, for intensive training.
  • Number of faculty/staff trained will depend on departmental size and commitment.
  • Applicants will be required to provide a letter of support from department and division leadership committing to support with effort and time described above.

Training

  • Intensive training will occur the week of October 11 – 15, 2021 (for first round of EC training, more opportunities coming in 2022). Faculty and Staff must obtain division commitment to clear applicant from work/clinical duties during this time.
  • Champions will participate in the entire understanding systemic racism leadership curriculum, as well as select portions of the clinical, trainee, and research curricula
  • Champions will have additional training/coaching related to teaching, facilitating difficult conversations, and train the trainer sessions

Implementation

  • Champions will partner with ODEI and departmental/GME leadership to determine best modalities and timeframe for training for faculty, staff, and trainees within their division/department.
  • Champions will assist in modifying USR curriculum elements to be as specific and relevant as possible for each department/division.
  • Champions will co-facilitate portions of the USR sessions with the ODEI team for faculty, staff, and trainees in their department/division. Minimum time commitment is ½ day per week.

Promotion

  • Champions will be considered co-facilitators, and primarily centered within their own divisions/departments, for the first year of training.
  • After 1 year of training, Champions showing exceptional skill in facilitation and curricular development will be offered promotion to independent facilitators, and may also be invited to help train further classes of champions.

How to apply

The application is open to those who have a commitment of supported effort and time from their appropriate leader. Individuals who are not yet able to serve in the role but want to have professional development to further their anti-racism journey can register for the Understanding Systemic Racism curriculum open educational sessions (starting in Spring 2022).