Spaces & Places for Advocacy & Racial-Justice Knowledge (SPARK)
In collaboration with student, staff and faculty groups across GUMC, we will begin to hold a space for increased dialogue and connection. Starting this summer, we will engage in a collaborative effort called, “SPARK” – Spaces and Places for Advocacy & Racial-Justice Knowledge. SPARK aims to bring our community together by providing spaces to process current events, accelerating understanding around systemic racial inequities that pervade our country, developing skills for allyship, and committing to actions around advancing racial equity within our community.
SPARK has three main components: Open Spaces, Dialogues and Learn-Ins.
This site will be updated regularly with upcoming summer events that are soon to be scheduled.
1. Open Spaces offer participants the opportunity to share, listen and reflect through forum-style engagement. Starting this summer, these events will be hosted on the third Wednesday of each month at noon and at 5 pm.
- Healing Circles – In addition to the campus-wide open spaces, Healing Circles will be coordinated for student, faculty, staff affinity groups requesting and needing additional safe spaces to process current events, talk with others and feel seen and heard. In the future, if you want to inquire about coordinating a Healing Circle, please email ODEI at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Dialogues invite participants to engage in conversation and reflection through small and large breakouts sessions. These monthly events are theme-based and interactive.
3. Learn-Ins equip participants with skills and knowledge for personal and professional development to address racial inequities and learn more cultural competency.
If you are interested joining our movement, whether through facilitating open spaces or through planning and teaching dialogues and learn-ins, please fill out this link.
The ODEI team will be sending out a weekly digest of top curated articles on racial justice identified by our colleagues and share upcoming events (campus/city-wide, nationally) to summarize opportunities to learn and connect with the Space and Places for Advocacy & Racial-Justice Knowledge (SPARK). If you have suggestions for good articles/resources, please email us at email@example.com.
Selected Reads/Videos to Prioritize:
- [AAMC] AAMC Statement on Executive Order Combating Race & Sex Stereotyping
- AAMC: While the executive order contains some elements that are universally agreed upon and with which we agree, it also exhibits a misunderstanding of most diversity and inclusion training programs and therefore will only further divide an already fragmented nation…The central purpose of diversity and inclusion training is, in fact, to bring the country together, not to further divide it. Only through better understanding of our conscious and unconscious biases, learning about other cultures in our pluralistic society, reaffirming our commitment to being anti-racist, and challenging long-held beliefs – that we hold ourselves and that we hold about others – will we heal the divisions now shaking our nation to its core”. The referenced Executive Order can be found here.
- [NPR] Neuroscience Has a Whiteness Problem: This Research Project Aims to Fix It.
- [Lancet] Uché Blackstock: dismantling structural racism in health care.
- [STATnews.com] Related piece- please see Dr. Blackstock’s article in January: Why Black doctors like me are leaving faculty positions in academic medical centers.
- [WAPO] Wells Fargo CEO apologizes after blaming shortage of Black talent for bank’s lack of diversity. In a memo to employees released by the bank, Scharf apologized for what was an “insensitive comment reflecting my own unconscious bias.”
- [American Journal of Bioethics] Racism & Bioethics: Experiences & Reflections by John R. Stone, in response to Bioethicists Can & Should Contribute to Addressing Racism. Article recently featured on the AAMC Group on Diversity & Inclusion resource network.