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College of Medicine – Phoenix’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Recognized for Commitment to Inclusion

  • December 1, 2020

For the second consecutive year, the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (OEDI) has received the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Members of the College of Medicine – Phoenix Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team (from left): Sonji Muhammad, MA, director; Francisco Lucio, JD, associate dean; Cammy Bellis, MEd, education and training specialist; Julie Parrish, administrative associateINSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education, recognizes colleges and universities across the U.S. every year for their exemplary commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive learning environment. The College of Medicine – Phoenix will be featured, along with 45 other recipients, in the December 2020 issue.

“The HEED award is a tribute to the great work done by so many at the college to advance inclusive excellence,” said Francisco Lucio, JD, associate dean in the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. “The OEDI team and I are grateful for everyone’s engagement and support, and we are honored to represent the college in this national recognition.”

The office has championed inclusion through community outreach programs, diversity workshops and leadership training that are dedicated to engaging underrepresented individuals. In early 2020, OEDI hosted a conference that brought together diversity thought leaders to improve the number of underrepresented trainees seeking careers in academic medicine.

In response to the recent killings of unarmed Black Americans and subsequent protests, the OEDI team, senior leaders and students at the college assembled in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and held a series of dialogue sessions to address police brutality and protests around the country. Through these sessions, a 12-Step Action Plan was developed to work toward dismantling racism, as well as the barriers and deficits that it creates.

“Highlighting our community programs and engagement helped us win the award again,” said Sonji Muhammad, MA, director of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

“We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a HEED Award recipient,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”