University of Nebraska Medical Center

Race, Inclusion, Diversity & Equity (RIDE) Initiative

Public Health Community Advisory – The Race, Inclusion, Diversity & Equity (RIDE) Initiative was created by Renaisa S. Anthony, MD, MPH, Deputy Director of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities and Assistant Professor in the College of Public Health. Providing support for the RIDE Initiative are co-investigators, Todd Wyatt, Ph.D., Professor in the Colleges of Public Health and Medicine and Chad Abresh, M.Ed., Executive Director of CityMatch. The trio successfully competed for and received grant funding from the College of Public Health Innovation Fund in February 2016.

The RIDE Initiative, launched in April 2016, was the first campus-wide and inclusive initiative dedicated exclusively to exploring issues of race, inclusion, diversity and equity at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). The mission of the RIDE Initiative is multifold and includes multilevel approaches to collect the voices, perspectives, and ideas of UNMC administrators, students, faculty, staff and community partners at UNMC. The overarching goal of the RIDE Initiative was to increase awareness of the importance of diversity, inclusion & equity at UNMC and a serve as a call to action to achieve the following four goals:

  1. Identify the ideal UNMC campus climate in regards to diversity, inclusion, and equity.
  2. Diversify the healthcare and public health workforce in efforts to make Nebraska the “healthiest and most equitable state in the nation.”
  3. Advance Healthy People 2020 goals to “eliminate health disparities, achieve health equity and improve the health of all populations.”
  4. Become a nationally recognized model for successfully implementing effective diversity, inclusion & equity efforts among our institutional and academic peers.

In 2016, the following RIDE Initiative events were convened.

  • An Intimate Dinner Discussion on Race Through The Eyes of Rachel Dolezal
  • The Face of Race, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity at UNMC
  • The Race, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity World Café
  • The Pit Stop Session and
  • RIDE Initiative Online Comment Page.

All RIDE Initiative events were designed to be inclusive, interactive and encourage frank and candid discussions about race, inclusion, diversity and equity. Over 150 UNMC administrators, students, faculty, staff, and community partners participated and provided insight into the current and ideal UNMC campus climate, and provided action-oriented recommendations to achieve the ideal campus environment: “Diverse, inclusive and welcoming with equitable opportunities for all to thrive and succeed.” The RIDE Report, released on September 5, 2016, is a comprehensive 150+ page document highlighting the current UNMC RIDE environment including ideal and feasible solutions recommended by key stakeholders. The report and additional details about the RIDE Initiative can be found online at: https://www.unmc.edu/publichealth/crhd/about/presentations/index.html

This article was written by  Renaisa S. Anthony MD, MPH, Deputy Director & Assistant Professor, Center for Reducing Health Disparities, University of Nebraska Medical Center

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