Our perceptions affect our interactions. Diversity is not just a matter of how we see others but is as much a matter of how we see ourselves. In an institution where the core values encompass ideologies such as diversity and inclusion, it is important that we not only actively look for ways to encourage a diverse environment but also encourage each employee in that environment to perform to the best of his or her ability. Only then will we be able to truly benefit from the great variety of information, insight and resources that diversity affords. The Diversity Awareness Committee is part of the Departmental strategy for accomplishing this goal.
If you’ve taken the opportunity to look at the diversity awareness calendar for October, then you know that the month of October is filled with numerous opportunities to celebrate diversity. Across cultures, there are a number of social, civil and religious days that will be celebrated in some way this month. In an effort to highlight the diversity within our Department, and in conjunction with United Nations Day, the Department of Pathology will celebrate “Diversity Awareness Week” during the week of October 19-23. This year we have chosen to highlight the nations of China, Russia, and Zimbabwe. Each division is encouraged to find creative ways to educate its staff about the culture, history, and political structure of these nations. Last year’s celebration was a great success, and we hope to improve this year by creatively making it an exciting and informative week for the entire faculty and staff.
Diversity Awareness Week is only one of the ways the Diversity Awareness Committee has promoted the value of diversity among staff within the Department of Pathology at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions since its inception. Other educational and interactive sessions sponsored by the Committee have included “Perry the Peacock,” “The Millenials are Coming,” “A Class Divided,” and recent sessions of “Campus Conversations on Diversity and Inclusion.” These sessions have been thought-provoking and have hopefully helped heighten our awareness and foster some change.
The committee consists of a group of staff representatives across several divisions within the Department, including the Bayview and Howard County locations. With valuable HR support and guidance, the committee plans educational and informational sessions designed to build awareness of the importance of recognizing and understanding similarities and differences among individuals and groups. The committee’s goal is to help establish common ground for future development of our personal and professional relationships. This is fostered through the essential element of mutual respect for our differences.
The committee is actively looking for new and exciting ways to highlight and promote diversity. Mark your calendars for upcoming brown bag lunch seminars beginning on Monday, October 19, 2009, from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm in Meyer B-105. Our own SMILE group will discuss “The International Laboratory Experience.”
If the committee can assist you in any way, or if you have any ideas to share, please feel free to contact any member of the committee. We are open to your input. Contact information is available on the Pathology website.
The Pathology Diversity Awareness Committee
James Abrams, Debbie Aird, Lois Anderson, Elaine Delman, Willie Ferrer, Greg Gerhardt, Laura Kissock, Trina McFadden, Doris Pendergrass, Sherin Shahegh, Leandra Soto, Sandra Thoman, and Meredith Timmermann