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Our Solidarity Statement

The UNC Department of Radiation Oncology considers diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) core values, and strives to embody these at every level: in its leadership, faculty and staff; in its operation; in its educational programs; and in its service to the public in delivering expert, compassionate healthcare for all.

Diversity, equity and inclusion must apply to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, past or present military service, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status. The Department supports efforts to enact systemic changes that will put an end to discrimination and racism, be it intentional or unintentional, subtle or extreme.

Numerous departments, centers, caucuses and associations exist at Carolina to meet your specific interests and needs when it comes to DEI education and activities. Here are a few:

  • Courtesy of the UNC Department of Emergency Medicine, this document provides a list of resources for faculty, staff, residents and other learners to assist those who may have experienced or witnessed maltreatment, micro-aggressions or discrimination.
  • This toolkit is a repository of resources and ideas offered to support all efforts to improve justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI).
  • The UNC Office for Diversity and Inclusion maintains a curated web page of resources intended to serve people and parents who wish to learn more and participate in anti-racism work.
  • The School of Medicine maintains a list of mental health and other wellness resources for both hospital and university employees who might need a little help during trying times.

Our Recent DEI Efforts (as of May, 2022)

To create and sustain an institutional infrastructure that effectively supports progress in achieving DEI goals in the University and SOM Strategic Plans
  • Of the faculty and staff hired since July 1, 2021, all have received email reminders where to sign up for either the School of Medicine unconscious bias training workshop or the UNC Health online bias trainings modules, and that they need to complete this within 3 months of their hiring.
  • Since early 2021, annual faculty reviews have included questions about DEI activities over the past year and goals for the coming year.
To increase the diversity and success of our student body, faculty, trainees, and staff.
  • Annual recruitment for positions in our radiation oncology residency program include particular attention and outreach to underrepresented in medicine (URM) applicants, with advertising both on Twitter and during our Zoom “Meet & Greet” sessions for interested applicants. In 2022, these efforts culminated in our matching a white woman and a black man, groups historically underrepresented in our residency program (and in radiation oncology in general).
  • A project is currently underway to evaluate the diversity of past interviewees and matched residents for our radiation oncology residency program with respect to gender, self-reported
    ethnicity, birthplace or hometown, public versus private medical school and location, and whether the interviewee was a first generation college graduate and/or an active military member or veteran. Data for past program interviewees date back approximately 15 years, and include nearly 400 applicants, while data for matched residents date back 32 years and include 54 individuals. Once collected and analyzed, this information will be used to better guide our resident recruitment efforts in the future.
  • A similar study of the demographic characteristics of past interviewees and matched residents for our medical physics program is also in progress.
To create and sustain an organizational environment that acknowledges and celebrates diversity and employs inclusive practices throughout its daily operations
  • New hires since mid-2021 already have, or will soon, receive implicit/unconscious bias training as part of their onboarding process.
  • Dr. Elaine Zeman, our School of Medicine diversity liaison provides DEI content for the Chair’s weekly e-newsletter and makes periodic announcements of upcoming DEI activities as part of our daily “Morning Huddle” briefing.
To provide leadership that connects diverse people and groups in and outside the organization by establishing partnerships that promote positive system change and reduce bias, alienation, and decisions that have unintentional consequences on underrepresented and vulnerable groups
  • Identification of potential books, documentaries and films for group discussion is ongoing. Some candidates include the Amazon Prime documentaries “Wilmington on Fire” and “My Name is Pauli Murray”.
  • Our Twitter account is now being used to highlight some of our DEI activities
  • Different DEI board members are serving as departmental liaisons to other DEI meetings and groups on campus, including the UNC Lineberger Equity Council.
To engage students, faculty, staff, and trainees in learning and scholarship (research, teaching, service, clinical practice) that integrates social justice with anti-racist components that promote equity and the reduction of disparities
  • Three DEI-themed morning conferences, organized by our radiation oncology residents were held between May and December, 2021, and three more were held during April and May, 2022:
    • First, Dr. Ellen Jones gave a clinical lecture during morning conference on the topic of “Endometrial Cancer Disparities” on April 11, 2022.
    • The second, held on on April 26 and 27, 2022, was an event about the Holocaust, designed to coincide with the 2022 Holocaust Remembrance Day. Participants were asked to complete a short survey assessing their basic Holocaust knowledge, and were also asked to view videos of the testimonies of Holocaust survivors (two of whom were relatives of members of our department). This was followed by a department-wide discussion session, featuring emotional, personal stories from some of our Jewish colleagues about their’s and their families’ experiences of the Holocaust. These sessions were attended by 60 department members, with many providing feedback praising the activity, complimenting those who participated in the discussion for their bravery and candor in discussing such emotionally-charged material and claiming that they had learned something new as a result of the activity.
    • Finally, Dr. Terri Phoenix, Director of the UNC LGBTQ Center, gave a presentation to the department on May 10, 2022 entitled “Providing Intentionally Inviting Health Care to LGBTQ+ People”. This event was attended by 42 department members, and sparked a discussion about taking steps to revise the signage on the bathrooms and dressing rooms in our department to be more inclusive of our trans and non-binary patients (and staff).