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Jummy Oladipo

Wed, 09/16/2020 - 20:53

Great post Matthew! You did an excellent job summarizing the presentation and our discussion with Dr. Joneja.

I think it is great that the TMED program started the year with this very important topic surrounding equity, diversity, and inclusion. Having these critical conversations is a great way to create a more welcoming environment that promotes learning about racial inequalities.

One aspect of our discussion that really stuck out to me was how Dr. Joneja focused on the inclusion aspect of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). She explained how equity and diversity are both included in the practice of inclusion. Once a person or organization is able to promote inclusivity, the other aspects of EDI will be present as well. These three words are being used more and more which is a step in the right direction, however, it is important to ensure that these words do not lose their significance.

With the increased awareness surrounding racism due to the media, it is important that productive conversations are held by healthcare professionals to address health inequities. Dr. Joneja discussed how oftentimes, leaders in healthcare do not know how to respond to instances of racism. They may not even be aware of their own biases. Racism in healthcare is being discussed more and more in the media. This highlights how necessary it is for healthcare professionals to reflect and educate themselves. This way, they too can foster an inclusive environment in their workplaces. The attention to social justice issues has been elevated recently. It has encouraged uncomfortable, but much-needed conversations. Some of which have led to productive change. However, there is still more that needs to be done. In our conversation with Dr. Joneja, we discussed how many institutions, including Queen’s have taken actionable steps toward creating a more diverse community. As a student of colour, I do appreciate the efforts that Queen’s has put in to attain this goal. Although, a question that I raise is how institutions with reputations of being homogenous, can move toward having more continuous systems of support rather than pockets. As this is a complicated topic with significant historical roots, there is not a simple answer to that question. I believe that a great place to start, which Dr. Joneja also mentioned, is to consult leaders of marginalized groups and hear what their needs are. Additionally, supporting members of marginalized groups to hold places of leadership is another great area of improvement.

The heightened public awareness of racial inequalities during the past few months has been encouraging. It is important to sustain this movement so that long-term changes can occur. Dr. Joneja did a great job modeling how to keep the conversations going by sharing personal stories and inspiring others to learn. Since the goal of healthcare is to support the communities in which they are situated, it is important that healthcare professionals are open to learning more about the barriers that marginalized groups face so that they can be better advocates for those they are serving.

Jummy Oladipo

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