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Honoring Diversity

Washington State University Health Sciences (WSUHS) values embracing and respecting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Demonstrating this value as we work and learn requires each of us to make a commitment.

As a Health Sciences Cougar family, we commit:

  • To make our campus a healthy community by respecting and promoting health (emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, environmental, financial, occupational and social health)
  • To make our campus a safe and welcoming place for all people
  • To be aware of and address biases and how they impact behavior
  • To engage in respectful dialogue that honors the humanity of all
  • To recognize and intentionally act to address inequity and injustice on our campus and in the broader community

WSU is an inclusive workplace dedicated to the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce. A number of additional resources are available through Human Resource Services.

Health Equity

Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.

From: Braveman P, Arkin E, Orleans T, Proctor D, and Plough A. What Is Health Equity? And What Difference Does a Definition Make? Princeton, NJ: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2017.

WSU Health Sciences uses an additional lens in our consideration of diversity, equity and inclusion. We must recognize and address health inequities that are barriers to good health in our communities and causes of poor outcomes in our healthcare systems. This means preparing health professional graduates who represent the diversity of our communities and incorporating knowledge and skills to address those health inequities and improve health outcomes. This includes providing a sense of welcoming and belonging, valuing of diversity, committing to equity, striving for inclusion and working toward justice. We commit to working toward these goals on our campus that include a more diverse student body, faculty and staff.

Definitions

Adapted from WSU Vancouver Campus

Belonging
A campus of belonging promotes safety, encouragement, mattering and support to be one’s authentic self. Belonging is realized when students, staff, faculty, alumni, and campus partners feel respected, accepted, included, and connected to the campus community, including its members and spaces (e.g., classrooms). A sense of belonging is fostered by an intentional community where one may become self-actualized and thrive.

Diversity
Diversity recognizes the unique lived experiences, perspectives, social identities (e.g., ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, etc.) and cultural wealth of students, staff, faculty, alumni, and campus partners. Diversity values everyone and disrupts social hierarchies of power and privilege.

Equity
Equity is a process, product, and practice. As a process, enacting equity illuminates ways in which individuals are privileged within a system of institutional and structural oppression. As a product, equity results from a dissolution of oppressive institutional structures within any system, leading to a balance of opportunity and outcomes for all. Equity is practiced when individuals and institutions regularly call attention to systemic oppression and racial inequities, take institutional responsibility to dismantle these inequities, and commit to change agency to advance equity across institutional policies.

Inclusion
An inclusive campus is one in which racially minoritized, historically marginalized and underrepresented individuals and groups participate in processes, practices, and decision- and policymaking in a way that dismantles the status quo of systemic oppression, including racism, and redistributes power to eliminate minoritization and marginalization in all aspects of campus life.

Justice
Justice is the presence of deliberate systems and supports to achieve and sustain racial equity through proactive and preventative measures and the absence of discrimination and inequities. Justice proactively establishes and reinforces systemic and systematic policies, practices, attitudes, and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts, and outcomes.

Links:

Reporting Discrimination

Discrimination of any kind at WSU Health Sciences Spokane is strictly prohibited. If you witness or experience something which discriminates, stereotypes, excludes, or harasses anyone based on some part of their identity—such as age, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, disability, sex, gender, language, and nationality—please report it using this form.

Resources