Understanding Diversity and Addressing Racism


MAC faculty, staff, and students have been working to develop intersectional understandings of the social determinants of equity and their impact on health. This spring 2017, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (TUSPHTM) launched a new initiative, in collaboration with other academic maternal and child health (MCH) programs nationally, aimed at addressing diversity at not only the administrative level but also throughout academic departments at the staff and student level and beyond (e.g., research and practice). Along with the Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health (CEMCH), MAC, and students throughout TUSPHTM, the school hosted a “Racing Toward Equity” Seminar series and discussions, focused on questions surrounding racism and the measurement of racism as well as classism. After graduation, the team hosted two Undoing Racism workshops, facilitated by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.

In addition, post-doctoral scholar Dr. Jennifer Glick has coordinated a series of trainings focusing on gender, sexuality, and health. The gender and sexual minority (SGM) focused spring training series included: 1) a March workshop with DrPH candidate Ali Talan, who has adapted an SGM sensitivity seminar specifically for public health audiences; and 2) The April Safe Zone training was conducted by Dr. Red Tremmel, director of the Office for Gender and Sexual Diversity and administrative assistant professor of history and gender and sexuality studies. Ali presented a three-hour seminar covering sexuality and gender as components of human identity, intersectionality, health disparities, and how to create a welcoming environment. The Tulane Safe Zone training is a voluntary program designed to reduce prejudice and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. It was tailored to meet the needs of our participants, covering a core set of values and information. The purpose is to give participants an abbreviated insight and foundation into the LGBTQ community. This training provides participants with the tools necessary to be an effective LGBTQ ally. Further, The Tulane Society for Sexuality Health and Gender, founded by Dr. Glick and currently led by Ali Talan, also offers an ongoing series of lunch seminars focused on the intersections of sexuality, health, and gender, to promote these conversations among the Tulane community. Many members of the MAC team have attended these seminars.

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