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At the UNC Department of Surgery, “diversity” and “inclusion” are not jargon; they are essential parts of our culture, here at the largest medical school in North Carolina and within the Department of Surgery. We use these terms to foster a sense of belonging among our students, trainees, staff, faculty, and the patients we care for in Chapel Hill and around the state.

Because we are part of an academic medical center, we know it is our responsibility to train and mentor future doctors, physician assistants, clinical researchers, and basic scientists to appreciate diversity and understand its importance to our education, research, and clinical missions, not to mention to the very fabric of our state and country. We are committed to attracting a diverse pool of outstanding students, trainees, and expertly trained faculty. We do this because the school of medicine is committed to valuing all people, regardless of background, lifestyle, or culture. We know that a diverse and inclusive work environment for staff, students, trainees, and faculty helps foster appropriate care for patients. And this is essential to the fulfillment of our vision to improve the health of all North Carolinians.

Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Luigi Pascarella

“We believe in priming an environment that fosters positive relationships and creative thinking while abiding to our clinical and academic missions. At UNC, we strive to create a community of belonging that reflects our multicultural nation. We endeavor to build a community of inclusion, cultural competence, and awareness where all voices are heard and cheered in their differences.”
-Luigi Pascarella, MD, FACS, (He/His/Him)
Office Phone: (919) 966-3392


The Numbers

*AAMC = Association of American Medical Colleges

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Diversity Committee

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School of Medicine Office of Inclusive Excellence

DEI Resources
The Office of Inclusive Excellence provides coordination, oversight, and leadership of the UNC SOM’s diversity and inclusion programs and leads the school efforts to maintain and continue to build upon a diverse faculty and inclusive environment that values and respects the contributions of all members of the community. Check out their full list of resources and organizations.

Educational Recordings

Finding My Voice from Behind the Mask
May 5, 2021. Kimberley Nichols, MD, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Member, Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Council discusses “Finding My Voice from Behind the Mask.”
Understanding Unconscious Bias for Healthcare Professionals
July 8, 2020. Ashalla Freeman, PhD, Director of Diversity Affairs and Initiative for Maximizing Student Development, Office of Graduate Education and Diversity Consultant, Office of Inclusive Excellence and Brenda Mitchell, PhD, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Department of Allied Health Sciences Office of Student Services and AHEC Operations discuss “Understanding Unconscious Bias for Healthcare Professionals.”
COVID-19 and Making Culturally Relevant Decisions
April 29, 2020. Nathan Thomas, PhD, Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry discusses “COVID-19 and Making Culturally Relevant Decisions”.
Health Disparities and UNC Health Care
October 23, 2019. James Barron, MA, Director, HCS Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion discusses “Health Disparities and UNC Health Care”.
Health Disparities in Minorities and in the LGBT Community: The role of implicit bias
June 12, 2019. Luigi Pascarella, MD, Associate Professor, Division of Vascular Surgery discusses “Health Disparities in Minorities and in the LGBT Community: The role of implicit bias.”
Implicit Bias
March 20, 2019. Keith Payne, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience discusses “Implicit Bias”.

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September 2021

The information below comes from Diversity Resources.

September 15 to October 15
 This September diversity month is actually celebrated from September 15 to October 15. The date was chosen because it’s the anniversary of when five Latin American countries – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua – declared independence in 1821. Throughout this month, watch films or read books about Hispanic culture And help foster an inclusive workplace for Hispanics and all races with microaggression training in the workplace. 
September 6-9: Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah, the holiday celebrating the Jewish New Year, is seen as a time for reflection on the past year and the year to come. It begins at sunset the previous day, and culminates 10 days later on Yom Kippur. Build inclusion for Judaism and all religions with online diversity training.
September 10: Ganesh Chaturthi
This 10-day Hindu festival marks the birth of the elephant-headed deity Ganesha. Ganesha is the god of prosperity, wisdom, and new beginnings.
September 20: Anniversary of HeForShe Formation
This is a solidarity movement for the advancement of gender equality, created by the United Nations on September 20, 2014. It fosters the idea that gender inequality is an issue that affects all people socially, economically, and politically. This movement seeks to involve men and boys in standing up and taking action against negative gender stereotypes and behaviors.
September 22: Autumnal Equinox
The Autumnal Equinox is a time for various religious observances worldwide. During the Autumnal Equinox, the sun passes directly over the Earth’s equator, which means the day and night are exactly equal in length. Going forward, you’ll have shorter days and longer nights in the northern hemisphere.

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