On April 5, 2021, the One Health Institute announced the four winning projects from the 2021 One Health Integration in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)/Black Lives Matter (BLM) Competitive Grant Winners. Here we take a closer look at Expanding Perspectives.
Who is on the Project Team?
Jennifer Lane and Michael Wilkes
What is a brief summary of your project?
The One Health approach, one that recognizes the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health, has an opportunity to explicitly integrate mechanisms that address systemic disparities and actively promote equality while also comprehensively addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity. The next generation of One Health practitioners needs the tools and resources to not only apply their technical skills in their given field, but also be equipped to promote inclusive, equitable working environments and communities.
We plan to use our grant in three main ways. First, we hope to increase the diversity of values, perspectives, and backgrounds of RxOH participants and guest instructors from backgrounds underrepresented in STEM by providing scholarships for course participation expenses and travel support. Second, the grant will facilitate and support access to educational opportunities for RxOH instructors to develop and deepen their own knowledge and understanding of fundamental principles of diversity, equity and inclusion and how to integrate them into their routine teaching, research, and leadership roles. Third, in collaboration with several experts from the UC Davis School of Medicine and the Office for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, we are developing integrated course modules that explicitly address issues such as systemic racism, health inequities, and the disparate effects of climate change on low-income communities.
What motivated you to create this particular project?
To achieve the mission of a healthy, just world, the next generation of One Health practitioners needs the tools and resources to not only apply their technical skills in their given field, but also be equipped to promote inclusive, equitable working environments and communities, which will require addressing the long shadows of systemic and environmental racism and social inequities. We felt the Rx One Health (RxOH) experiential education platform was an appropriate and logical place for more explicitly integrating mechanisms that address systemic disparities and actively promote equality.
What is your vision for the future after your pilot project?
We envision the topics of diversity, equity, inclusion, disparities, and community engagement will be woven into the permanent fabric of the RxOH curriculum, so that One Health practitioners around the world are aware of issues such as systemic racism and the social determinants of health and have resources and tools as part of their professional tool kit to address them.
What is one thing a person can do today to educate themselves and be a strong ally?
As educators, we have a responsibility to create the best learning environment possible. By pursing the necessary steps of self-education, personal reflection, and dialogue with historically marginalized individuals and communities, we hope to become stronger allies and instructors.