Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Diversity Dialogues & Presentations

Diversity Dialogues

Date TBD: Black is a social determinant of health, as presented by Linda Villarosa in Under the Skin.

Resources about this topic

  1. Linda Villarosa - Looking Under the Skin: Health Disparities and Race (video)
  2. Race and Ethnicity in PFT Interpretation (video)
  3. Myths about physical racial differences were used to justify slavery — and are still believed by doctors today (New York Times article)
  4. Social Determinants of Health, Race, and Diabetes Population Health Improvement: Black/African Americans as a Population Exemplar (2022)
  5. Key Data on Health and Health Care by Race and Ethnicity (2023)


 What  Time (approx.)  Who
 Hello and norming the space 5 minutes  Tessa
 Viewing of short video to establish relevant background     information 5-15 minutes  YouTube, TedTalk,   etc.
 Open discussion- we will try to focus on the DEI topic at hand,  but if we get off on other DEI tangents, that is okay too. 5- 40 minutes (or as long as it takes, but we will always end at the hour)  All
 Closing and reflection 5 minutes  Tessa

This is NOT a presentation or a workshop, and although no one is required to participate, if there is a lack of discussion or engagement, the session will end for that day (no judgment). I will not have a lesson plan or a PowerPoint (other than the one used for norming the space), and I will not be giving any direct instruction. I will do my best to answer any questions that are directly asked of me, but sometimes I might not have the answer either.
Additional Norms:
  • Come with an open mind and as a leaner- none of us are experts in this space
  • Call each other “in” not “out” (or be curious, not judgmental)
    • Ask for more information
      • Disarms from defensiveness and allows thinking about the impact of words
      • “Could you say more about what you mean by that”?
      • “How have you come to think that?”
    • Separate intent from impact and offer an alternative
      • “I know you didn’t realize this, but when you ___________________ (comment/behavior), it was hurtful/offensive because __________________ (reason). Instead, you could have_________________ (different language or behavior.)”
    • Challenge the stereotype
      • “Actually, in my experience ________________________.”
      • “That sounds like a stereotype. Is that what you mean?”
      • “Another way to look at it is________________________.”
  • Vegas rules
  • Be kind
  • Be respectful
  • Be brave (see “Brave Spaces”)
  • Share the space- please be aware of how much time you spend talking, and if you love to talk (like I do), please be intentional about giving others space to talk as well
  • Practice cultural humility- Understanding the complexity of identities. That even in sameness, there is difference, and we should never assume to understand another’s background and culture, nor that those with similar social identities have the same thoughts, ideas, beliefs, or backgrounds.
  • Use the platinum rule- treat others as they want to be treated
  • If no one has shown up within the first 15 minutes, the session will be ended

We want to create an environment where we can authentically share our views, our experiences, and ourselves. To learn from each other, we need an environment that allows us to open up and challenge both ourselves and each other to move beyond our comfort zones.
Arao, et al. states, "Learning necessarily involves not merely risk, but the pain of giving up a former condition in favor of a new way of seeing things." When engaging in intergroup dialogue, we seek to cultivate brave spaces, rather than safe spaces, for group learning about a broad range of diversity and social justice issues. By emphasizing the need for courage, as opposed to the illusion of safety, we better position ourselves to accomplish dialogic learning goals and more accurately reflect the nature of genuine dialogue, especially with regard to challenging and controversial topics.
We all have zones of comfort about different topics and experiences. The dialogue process asks us to move beyond our traditional areas of comfort so we can open ourselves to new challenges, knowledge, and awareness. While remaining inside our comfort zone, we are not being challenged and thus we are not learning.
Moving outside our comfort zones requires bravery to constructively embrace conflict by learning through being challenged. However, if we move too far outside the comfort zone too quickly, we begin to resist new information and withdraw. We call the limit of our comfort zone the learning edge. When we are at this point, we are most open to expanding our knowledge and understanding as well as expanding our comfort zone itself.
Being on the learning edge requires a level of courageousness and bravery as it means we may feel annoyed, angry, anxious, surprised, confused, defensive, or in some other way uncomfortable. These reactions are a natural part of the process of expanding our comfort zones, and when we recognize them as such. The challenge is to be aware of when we are on the learning edge, and then to bravely stay there with the discomfort we are experiencing to see what we can learn.
Conflict of opinion, viewpoint, and understanding is a normal and even beneficial aspect of the dialogue process. It will take place in various ways within the group-within individuals, between individuals, or between groups. It may be overt or submerged in the group or even present but not fully recognized. We are more likely to work with conflict when we bravely enter spaces and are committed to learning from the conflict present in the dialogue.
Conflict of understanding pushes our comfort zones and is a necessary and beneficial part of the dialogue process. It is our responsibility as participants in this dialogue to turn conflict and discomfort into learning and growth for all involved. One of the first steps in this direction involves bravely pushing our comfort zones and challenging ourselves as a means of learning and growing.

  • I want to attend, but I have a pre-existing commitment during that time.
    • Please let me know what works best for you via email! The time and date of Diversity Dialogues will rotate to try and include as many people as possible
  • I have an idea for a topic and/or video
    • Please let me know via email! I love input and suggestions from the community!
  • I don’t know anything about DEI, can I still come?
    • Absolutely! This is a great place to not only learn more about DEI, but to become more comfortable discussing tough topics



Click an item below to watch the video

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