While our committee, mission statement, and rationale all represent the framework of fostering a diverse, inclusive and equitable environment, there are ongoing efforts to affect change at the School itself, the University of Texas at Austin, our greater Austin neighborhood. Racial inequities in health, education, and elsewhere continue to persist in the United States in 2019, making it essential for nurses to understand and challenge the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and institutional factors that contribute to these sustained inequities.
At The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, faculty, staff, and students have extracurricular opportunities to engage in dialogue about race, racial inequities, and racism through events hosted by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Through policy, scholarship, education and debate, we are continuing to expand the tenets of diversity, and continue to reap its benefits.
See below for relevant projects and opportunities to become part of the force of positive change here at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing.
Faculty/Staff Book Club
The purpose of our Faculty/Staff Book club is to create a space for faculty and staff to learn about concepts and processes related to race, racial inequities, and racism, reflect on our experiences, and uncover and challenge assumptions that influence our ways of thinking and acting in our professional roles as educators, scientists, and members of the UTSON and broader community. The Book Club is open to all UTSON faculty and staff and meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month from 12-1. While we encourage everyone to complete the recommended readings, it is not required to join us. All faculty and staff are welcome!
Currently we are reading Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult. We are aiming to read the book over the 2019-20 semester break (December-January) and work through discussion questions during the spring semester of 2020.
Previous readings include:
The purpose of our Movie Night is to bring together students, faculty, and staff to view and discuss a film that examines some aspect of race, racial inequities, and racism. Movie night is co-hosted annually, usually in the spring semester, by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and Nurses for Racial Justice (a student organization). Popcorn and other snacks are provided, as well as a discussion guide to help facilitate small-group reflection and large group discussion about broader societal implications as well as implications related to health and health care, specifically.
- Spring 2020: Black Bodies, a documentary by Charlotte Moore, award winning writer, journalist and blogger from right here in Austin. This film is a part of her larger Black Bodies Project, with a vision to eradicate racism through creativity, connection and collective understanding. For more details and to RSVP to attend, see the Movie Night page.
- Spring 2019: White Like Me: Race, racism and white privilege (a documentary based on the book of the same title that “explores race and racism in the United States through the lens of whiteness and white privilege”) by Tim Wise. Viewing/Discussion Guide (PDF)
- Spring 2018: 13th (a documentary about mass incarceration in the United States, and its disproportionate impact on black and brown communities) by Ava DuVernay. Viewing/Discussion Guide (PDF)
Integrated Behavioral Health Scholars Program
The Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) Scholars Program at The University of Texas at Austin is an innovative cross-campus collaboration of Dell Medical School, the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, School of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, Department of Psychology, Department of Educational Psychology and Texas Child Study Center. The program’s goal is to build a diverse and culturally competent behavioral health workforce with expertise in delivering integrated behavioral care, particularly to underserved Texans.
All IBH scholars participate in a competency-based curriculum focused on developing skills in integrated care, interprofessional practice and cultural competence. This includes hands-on training alongside care providers in Central Texas.