September 20, 2021
Dear SPH Community,
Starting this week, the Brown School of Public Health community—including leadership, faculty, staff, students, postdocs, and alumni—will be undertaking an organizational assessment to assist us on our journey to becoming a more diverse, inclusive, and racially-equitable institution.
The assessment will be led and managed by Advancing Health Equity (AHE), an independent consulting firm led by physician and thought leader Dr. Uché Blackstock. Advancing Health Equity partners with institutions like ours to address bias and racism in public health and healthcare through training and consulting services.
Dr. Blackstock was formerly an Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the New York University School of Medicine. In 2019, she was recognized by Forbes magazine as one of “10 Diversity and Inclusion Trailblazers You Need to Get Familiar With.”
The organizational assessment will consist of a web-based survey, select one-on-one interviews, virtual focus groups, and an equity audit of our School’s practices and policies.
Your opinions are important to us, and the assessment is your chance to express those opinions. We would like to have 100% participation from our SPH community, because full participation ensures that each and every person’s voice is heard.
Following the assessment, AHE will develop a final report with recommendations and then engage with our School’s key stakeholders to develop a 3-year strategy.
When you receive emails from School leadership and the Advancing Health Equity team in the coming weeks regarding the survey, interviews, and focus groups:
- Please give them your prompt attention and note the deadlines.
- Please be thoughtful, honest, and candid with your answers.
- Remember that all responses will remain anonymous and confidential and will only be used to inform Advancing Health Equity’s final report and recommendations.
Advancing Health Equity’s work will begin by recruiting participants for the focus groups. Participation is voluntary, and we aim to have a diverse cross section of students, staff, faculty, postdocs, and alumni. If you would like to be part of a focus group, please complete this brief form by Friday, October 1 to express your interest and provide demographic information. AHE will make every effort to ensure that everyone who volunteers is included in a focus group.
Again, your responses will go directly to Advancing Health Equity, and no one at the School of Public Health will have access to your responses.
Thank you in advance for devoting your time and attention to this exciting initiative and learning opportunity.
Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH
Dean, School of Public Health
Professor of Health Services, Policy & Practice