BSS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences

The Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences acknowledges the unmistakable and widespread health impacts of anti-Black racism and other systems of oppression, inequitable historic and contemporary social structures and policies, implicit and explicit social biases, and unique stressors faced by members of historically marginalized groups. These realities compel public health scholars to engage actively with issues of equity and social justice. We believe that behavioral and social scientists must take a leading role in these efforts, both in our research and in university life. 

The Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences is committed to (a) fostering an inclusive departmental climate and community that prioritizes diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging across all dimensions of diversity; (b) teaching a curriculum that devotes attention to issues of social justice and health equity, and holds health as a human right; and (c) upholding the engagement of diverse communities as partners in research.

As a Department we aspire to meet these commitments through:

  • Intentionally building a diverse community of faculty, staff, trainees, and students;
  • Providing person-centered mentoring of students, faculty, and trainees; 
  • Providing equitable and transparent processes for promoting faculty and evaluating their contributions; 
  • Encouraging direct, compassionate, and inclusive speech;
  • Providing opportunities for active discussion of implicit biases and microaggressions;
  • Continuously evaluating our courses and departmental seminars to ensure seminal and evolving content around anti-Black racism, structural racism, health equity, and community engagement; and
  • Supporting research that explicitly addresses the impact of racism, sexism, ableism, and other systems of oppression and inequity in society and health.

The Department regularly evaluates our progress towards meeting these commitments and maintains systems for holding ourselves accountable for failures to do so.