The Multicultural Resource Center is committed to curating programs and initiatives that will support our mission to transform our perspective of health science through a social justice lens, bringing us closer to health justice. As a dedicated student service, we actively contribute to the education of our campus learners. We strive to build upon current experiential and didactic learning tools for students, with consideration to the intersectionality of multicultural identities, professional discipline, and social justice. We hold an a priori conceptualization of social justice as the equitable distribution of opportunities (and privileges) and believe that it is our (institutional) obligation to challenge the status quo and work towards social change that positively impacts those who are disenfranchised, marginalized, and underrepresented.
“Social justice work as scholarship and professional action are designed to change societal values, structures, policies, and practices, such that disadvantaged or marginalized groups gain increased access to these tools of self-determination”. –Goodman et al, 2004
Utilizing an existing framework on cultivating social justice change agents (Goodman et al., 2004), we have identified three core values that will provide a foundation for initiatives designed to support our institution at large and student learners in ongoing and active engagement with social justice practices.
- On-going Self-Examination: Through cultural humility, to increase our awareness to existing biases and inequities in departments, greater institution, and ourselves.
- Sharing Power: To the extent possible engage in consensual decision-making within powered-structures (e.g., student –staff/faculty; institution –community), whereas “expertise is understood as another source of information rather than the best or the most ‘objective’ of the sources; and the possibilities and limits of shared power are made explicit”. (Brabeck & Brown, 1997; Goodman et al., 2004
- Giving Voice: “Voice…as a kind of mega-metaphor representing presence, power, participation, protest, and identity” (Reinharz, 1994). Feminist theory underscores the importance of advocating for oppressed, marginalized, and underrepresented groups by amplifying their voices both within and outside the institutional confines
Through continues engagement with these (and future) Diversity Actions it is our hope that we actualize our aspirational values in diversity and inclusion, developing an institutional culture where social justice will always shape the ways in which we research, practice, and educate within the health science disciples.