Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program
DEI LEADERSHIP: Dr. Kim Brownley, is the department’s Vice Chair of Diversity and Inclusion and Diversity and Inclusion Liaison for the UNC School of Medicine (SOM). DEI Liaisons meet monthly with SOM Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Dr. Nate Thomas, for DEI leadership training and to brainstorm about new DEI initiatives. DEI Liaisons lead their department’s Diversity Committee, advise departmental leadership on DEI issues, advocate for a “Diversity Ally” on all search/recruitment committees, and facilitate dissemination of DEI-related learning and advocacy opportunities.
Taskforce: In March 2020, Dr. Brownley constituted a DEI Taskforce of 5 faculty (Drs. Christina Peat and Rebecca Taylor), staff (Elizabeth Pugliese, Melisa Campbell), and student (Enioluwafe Ojo) members to formulate the department’s initial DEI mission statement and preliminary framework.
Program Governance: During the COVID-19 pandemic that shown a bright light on the disproportionate health burdens borne by under-represented minority (URM) and marginalized groups, and in the face of rising racial tension and national unrest following the killings of George Floyd, Ahmad Aubrey, and Breonna Taylor that served to compound the COVID trauma experienced in the Black community, Dr. Brownley convened and led four small group discussions involving 100+ department members to provide a safe and welcoming space for sharing and processing feelings and concerns. From these discussions, she identified DEI partners and allies within the department and created a vision, a voice, and a governance structure for the UNC Department of Psychiatry’s comprehensive DEI Program. The Program comprises the Director, six DEI Working Groups (WGs), and a DEI Advisory Panel consisting of the WG chairs and co-chairs. Through monthly WG meetings and quarterly Advisory Panel meetings, the Program is advancing DEI in six areas: (1) Recruitment, Retention & Support, (2) Social Media, Website & Publicity, (3) Education & Training, (4) Ethics & Legislation, (5) Patient Engagement & Community Outreach, and (6) Metrics & Evaluation. Since its inception, over 40 department members have volunteered for one or more WGs and the Program has grown into a collaborative, integrated, and coordinated effort to develop, implement, and evaluate initiatives to cultivate cultural humility, diversity, equity, and inclusion in all facets of the department. The primary function of the Program is to support department leadership in making lasting changes to improve DEI in its workforce, practices, and policies.