In May, the MHA Student Association hosted "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Moving from Ideas to Action," an event to help bring awareness to equity injustices that have led to significant healthcare disparities. The featured speaker was Dr. Gina Forrest of Butler University.
Dr. Forrest is a native Hoosier and wants to make Indiana a more inclusive, healthier and happier state.
For more than ten years, she has been in the field of training and facilitating discussions in the areas of diversity, inclusion, equity and cultural awareness. Her expertise includes topics such as Implicit Bias, Race and Ethnicity, Working across the Generations, Healthy Communication, Aging, Gender Identity, Socioeconomic Status, and Inclusive Language.
The goal of the event was to help create a safe space for open discussion about understanding DEI, and discussing the social justice framework to DEI.
"I believe creating equal opportunities for all is a moral imperative," said Hina Akmal, president of the MHA Student Association.
"We will not change the college or the world overnight, and we will not look up one day a few years from now and think, 'All the work here is done.' This movement is ongoing, and we will continue to grow into becoming a better place, in every way, through educating ourselves and becoming allies for those who face systemic oppression and racism.
"The Fairbanks School of Public Health is working towards creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment. It is not easy, but we can and will continue to do better."
The MHA Student Association hopes to work with the Fairbanks School of Public Health and a diverse range of Public Health leaders in the community to plan and host ongoing DEI events.
"Our hope is to create a strong foundation for future MHASA leadership to continue this effort," said Puja Patel, DEI chair for the MHA Student Association.
Learn more about the MHASA and how to get involved!