RJCC Updates

The Racial Justice Committee for Change Report

Executive Summary

December 15, 2020

Since our last report, September 30, 2020, each subcommittee has been charged with achieving short term goals, and making progress towards intermediate and long term goals. Obtaining data to establish long term goals and collaboration was challenging but achieved in almost all subcommittees with few exceptions. While considerable progress has been made, and responsiveness to RJCC requests have been positive overall, several committees and entities remain resistant to engaging in dialogue or providing data as requested. The Steering Committee would like to especially express frustration on perceived non-responsive GUSOM leaders, and urge immediate action from the office of the Executive Vice President.

The RJCC has also formally reached out to the School of Nursing and Health Studies, and the School of Biomedical Graduate Education, and the RJCC Co-Chairs regularly attend meetings of the MedStar Working Group for Racial Justice. We are progressing well in establishing more formal relationships to achieve GUMC-wide racial equity initiatives.

This executive summary includes RJCC recommendations, including action items for the Office of the Executive Vice President, ongoing work of the RJCC, progress to goals, additional data requests, and barriers to the work of RJCC.

Recommendations

RJCC recommendations are organized as follows: 1) action items for the Office of the Executive Vice President, Dr. Edward Healton; and 2) recommendations for ongoing work of the RJCC.

Recommendations as yet unmet from the open letter June 3, 2020, are indicated in bold print.

  1. Action items for the Office of the Executive Vice President, Dr. Edward Healton
    1. Continue Racial Justice Committee for Change meetings through June 30, 2021 as currently structured. Transition Racial Justice Committee for Change to a GUMC standing committee as of July 1, 2021.
    2. Bylaws changes where needed to implement 1 seat of representation from the RJCC on GUMC and/or GU committees, and regular presentations of progress, including the GUMC Faculty Development Committee, GUSOM Committee on Medical Education (COME) and subcommittees, Committee on Students (COS), Committee on Admissions (COA), COA Executive Committee, Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), Ad Hoc, and Strategic Planning committees, MedStar-Georgetown Education Council, MedStar-Georgetown Research Council, and Georgetown University Council on Academic Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Racial Justice Initiatives.
    3. Formal request to require all GUMC committees, including those in recommendation 1.2, to engage in training in diversity, equity and inclusion, including implicit bias, microaggressions, institutional and systemic racism and report on these trainings to the RJCC at least annually. This training must be planned and approved by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion by January 31, 2021, and a complement of training completed by June 30, 2021.
    4. Formal request for departmental-, school-, committee- and GUMC diversity dashboard displaying key diversity metrics and action plans for all departments, schools and committees, including GUMC progress towards achieving RJCC goals.
    5. Formal request for permanent administrative staffing of the RJCC Steering Committee, to be shared with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
    6. Formal request for administrative support from Office of Faculty and Academic Affairs for the RJCC subcommittee on Recruitment, Retention & Success of URM Faculty.
    7. Create a GUSOM Scholarship Advisory Board or Committee with RJCC representation, Office of Financial Aid, Committee on Admissions, Office of Advancement, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the Alumni Board, and charge specific work for: equitable distribution of scholarship funds; and prioritization of URM and disadvantaged students.
    8. Continued Suspension of AOA and Gold Humanism Honor Society nominations and election until June 30, 2021, until formal review and revision of policies and procedures for specific recommendations for racial equity, diversity and inclusion.
    9. Appoint representation from the RJCC to the Office of Medical Education Longitudinal Thread Advisory Group to provide input into content and structure.
    10. Create a $3,000 GUSOM Racial Equity grant, stipend, or tuition credit for each of 39 student members of the RJCC for each year of contribution to RJCC goals and objectives, for a total of $117,000 for FY21. FY22 amount to be determined by the number of student members in 2021-2022.
    11. Formally recognize students for their RJCC work with an annual letter from the Dean for Medical Education, in addition to MSPE for M4s, and additional distinction for URM students working with the Office of Admissions on DEI recruitment activities.
    12. Appoint 5 additional students, and 5 additional faculty to the RJCC subcommittee on Curricular Reform.
    13. Formal request for de-identified GUMC AAMC Faculty Tables regarding racial/ethnicity data
    14. Formal request for FY21 financial support for the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) in the amount of $1500 for Spring 2021 programming. Dedicated financial resources to support the SNMA mission and GUSOM SNMA Chapter programming annually.
    15. Appoint GUMC Ombudsperson for Diversity to support URM students.
    16. Formal request for descriptive demographic data for campus police, and racial/ethnicity data report on GUPD calls.
    17. Formal request for GUPD to remove both race/ethnicity and nondescript complexion annotations from campus alerts as these are proxies for racially targeted descriptors.
    18. Formal request for monthly Curricular Bias Reporting data from the Office of Medical Education and Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, associated training received by each faculty assigned to address cases, the recommendations made, and any actions taken.
    19. Formal review by June 30, 2021 of process, policies and procedures of student referrals to COS, including the mitigating factors disclosed exempting students from appearing before COS, the role of the Dean of Students, Student Affairs, Office of Student Learning, Office of Medical Education, and GUSOM administration.
    20. Formal request for expedited onboarding of 10 student workers for the Office of Student Learning for forty 90 minute group tutoring sessions or 8 sessions per tutor. Total budget of $2400. This will expand the capacity of available URM tutors to the Office of Student Learning and provide five additional group tutors for M1 block 2 and five for M2 block 6.
    21. Formal requests for a Public Relations plan for dissemination of RJCC recommendations, progress, diversity dashboards on GUMC media platforms
  2. Recommendations for ongoing work of the RJCC
    1. Formal review by the RJCC by June 30, 2021 of GUSOM Professional Identity Formation programming and the Cura Personalis Fellowship for specific recommendations for racial equity, diversity, and inclusion, and transparency of demographic composition of the PIF coaches.
    2. Formal review by the RJCC by June 30, 2021 of GUSOM preclinical and clinical advising programs for specific recommendations for racial equity, diversity, and inclusion.
    3. Formal review by June 30, 2021, of process, policies and procedures regarding nominations of students to serve on GUMC committees, including COS, COA, and COME, including the role of the Office of Medical Education, GUSOM administration, and representation of SMEC nominations in final selection of student members.
    4. Implement Race & Medicine Longitudinal Course. Integrate required and graded longitudinal courses/content on Race & Medicine across all four years to improve understanding of race, racism, health disparities, and vulnerable populations.
    5. Plan for recruitment of Black and Latinx Standardized Patients for GUSOM courses to be reflective of the Washington Metro Area demographics.
    6. Revise GUPD policies regarding racial descriptors, including complexion to racially sensitive and equitable communications.
    7. Incorporate community engagement and health equity into goals and objectives of the RJCC.
    8. Formal collaboration with the MedStar Working Group for Racial Justice, the School of Nursing and Health Studies, and Biomedical Graduate Education including recommendations for appointment to the RJCC beginning July 1, 2021.

Progress to Goals

Steering Committee

  • Co-Chairs attend regular meetings with Co-Chairs of MedStar Working Group for Racial Justice (WGRJ), and the MedStar WGRJ Steering Committee
  • Preliminary meetings with NHS, BGE for areas of collaboration
  • Presentations on RJCC to the Faculty Senate, GUMC Caucus, GUMC Board, Alumni Board.

Racial Justice Curricular Reform

  • Curriculum Needs Assessment performed, including review of teaching materials for racialized content
  • Anonymous Bias Reporting Form/Evaluation implemented
  • Implemented Anti-Racism Summer Reading Curriculum (Fatal Invention). ODEI Book Clubs including faculty, students, and staff (White Fragility, So You Want to Talk About Race)
  • Race & Medicine 4-year curricular thread planned (Kureshi, Smith)
  • Diversified Images included in the Immunology, Rheumatology, Dermatology (IRD) Module
  • Additional racially sensitive dermatology learning objectives proposed
  • Requested 10-year Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) and Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) awardee demographic data, and obtained student race, ethnicity and gender data for 5 years.

URM Well Being, Experience, and Responsiveness

  • Healing circles for Black students, faculty and staff implemented, promotion and engagement
  • Recommended black counselors for CAPS, CAPS website editing
  • Gender Justice Initiative Fellowship Awarded (Seliby-Perkins)
  • The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) support augmented, and programming increased, Faculty Advisor appointed for SNMA (Seliby-Perkins)
  • URM tutoring initiative with the Office of Student Learning
  • Requested membership, race/ethnicity, demographic data for COS. Received list of members. Received CQI-prepared COS data, pending commitment to implicit bias training, pending race/ethnicity, demographic data for COS membership.

Recruitment, Retention and Success of URM Faculty

  • Determined plan for diversifying pool of Standardized Patients
  • Racial Equity focus for annual retreat with Department Chairs
  • Collaborate with the Faculty Development Committee subcommittee on Faculty Diversity & Inclusion on shared goals and objectives: 1) representative diversity/visibility; 2) support and training; 3) leadership; and 4) curriculum development

Recruitment, Retention and Success of URM Students

  • Committee on Admissions (COA) Subcommittee on Diversity established, July, 2020 (Moxley)
  • RJCC Steering Committee member appointed to Committee on Admissions Executive Committee (Moxley)
  • All COA members and interviewers (more than 80 people) completed implicit bias training with ODEI and an online anti-racism training module.
  • New virtual interview day discussion added focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Incorporated students and faculty of color in recruitment efforts of prospective medical students. Increased diversity and training of GUSOM Ambassador program (it would be great like Michelle said to get the specific numbers)

Safety and Campus Police Relations

  • Multiple working meetings with Chief Gruber and Mr. Smulson for GUPD
  • Draft policy submitted on use of racial descriptions in crime alerts, including examples from other institutions applying a racial equity lens to policies and procedures
  • Case reports and studies provided as a basis to model changes at GUMC
  • Draft policy on Acts of Hate

Data Requests (requested, but not received)

  1. Data on faculty hiring practices
  2. Data on faculty promotion and retention, AAMC faculty tables reflecting race/ethnicity data
  3. Data on AOA and GHHS faculty, resident, alumni on nominations, selection, policies and procedures for students, residents, faculty and alumni.
  4. Percentage of interactions between GUPD and Black students/parents/staff, including complaints from existing students/parents/staff
  5. Descriptive demographic data of police force
  6. Breakdown of GUPD calls to GUMC by race

Barriers

  • We need assistance with engagement from the following committees, departments, or divisions at GUMC. We are asking for them to work directly with RJCC members to obtain further data, review policies, and consider optimization to work toward racial equity, diversity, and inclusiveness.
    • COS
    • Campus Police
    • AOA Honor Society
    • Gold Humanism Honor Society
    • COME
  • The GUSOM COS has not yet responded regarding training for implicit bias and racial equity, and has not provided requested data on the demographic composition of members. Additional information missing from the COS November 13, 2020 communication to the RJCC was the evidence for “compelling” or “meaningful” stories that would exempt one student and not another from appearing before the COS while meeting the same criteria, and other subjective considerations for which students appear before COS, have special student status, or academic probation noted on transcripts. An addendum was received December 14, 2020, including additional race/ethnicity data by low pass, academic probation, special student status, normal status, and dismissed student.
  • GUSOM Professional Identity Formation leadership (Cura Personalis Fellowship and longitudinal mentorship for students) has been largely unresponsive to outreach and communications to discuss challenges, barriers and opportunities to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in mentorship programs for URM and disadvantaged students.
  • The Committee on Admissions has collaborated extensively with the RJCC, and is moving forward with recommended Implicit Association Tests with analysis, feedback, and recommendations for interventions from Harvard’s Project Implicit. This contract is approximately $6,500, and has been with the GU contracts team for review and approval since October, 2020. Confirmed funding for the processing of the invoice for this contract is needed.
  • The Office of Medical Education and Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion have implemented the recommended Curricular Bias Reporting Form as of August 26, 2020. There have been 3 anonymous reports of racial bias that we have been made aware of, which were addressed by Deans Furlong and Kumar. We are awaiting details on these reports to shape faculty development recommendations. We would also like to ensure that the ODEI and the RJCC subcommittee on curricular reform play key roles in providing feedback regarding these reports. The report summaries should be communicated monthly to the RJCC, and at regular intervals with the COME.