Tips for Integrating Diversity into Seminar Topics

The following tips are intended to help presenters integrate diversity issues into intern and post-doctoral seminars.  Diversity within the Training Consortium is defined broadly to include age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabilities, and socio-economic background.

  • Identify prevalence of problem/issue.  Are there differential impacts across subgroups?
  • Identify research that has been conducted with diverse groups, as well as limitations from existing research related to diversity.
  • Are there differences in response to treatments by diverse subgroups?
  • Consider how our cultural biases may influence the treatment and evaluation process for this problem or approach.
  • How do you recruit people for research or treatment on this problem to include people across diverse backgrounds?  What accommodations may be needed to recruit, consent, or treat?
  • Are there other methodological issues/barriers that limit research with diverse groups?
  • Recognize that cultural groups are themselves very diverse; be aware of stereotyping any one group.  Consider confounding factors when comparing data across subgroups. 
  • Cultures change over time, influenced by acculturation, modernization, policies, media, and historical events.
  • Key readings ahead may stimulate discussion on these topics. Consider also whether seminar handouts include information and resources related to diversity for learners’ use after the presentation, e.g. in PowerPoint slides, references.
  • Career path topics can offer suggestions for people of diverse backgrounds and/or those interested in working with diverse communities, e.g. how to get appropriate mentoring, grant/funding options, access to key communities, dealing with discrimination in the workplace.
  • Consider cultural competency as a life-long process and not a destination. We are always learning about our own and other cultures and how we interact across cultures.
  • Consider cultural-related processes related to research or clinical topic (e.g., rather than focus on ethnic/racial differences in disease course and outcomes, explore potential cultural-related processes that may be more salient to specific group, such as specific cultural beliefs, values, strengths, risks, and behaviors).