Rethinking public health

In its first academic year — 2020-2021 — the school held classes amid the pandemic, but students, faculty and staff were affected by the heightened national conversation about anti-Black racism, and structural and systemic racism faced by others. This context shaped the curriculum and demanded dramatic changes in teaching, learning and lifestyle.

“We learned some important lessons during the pandemic. As dean of the new School of Public Health, a conversation about racism must be at the core of what we do at this new school and break down the systems and structures that perpetuate racism and, as a result, promote less than optimal health outcomes throughout society, Anderson said.

The first component was to invite participants to participate in a 24-hour racial recovery seminar to help all staff members understand the systems that normalize racism, examine the individual’s role in perpetuating structural racism, speak compassionately about it, and make lasting changes that build the school. A harmonious foundation.

Systemic racism seems to make headlines every day. In the year In the span of five months in 2020, five black men were killed in five separate incidents: Ahmad Arberry, Brenna Taylor, Daniel Proud, George Floyd, and Rayshard Brooks. Sadly, more have followed, including increasing violence against Asians.

To create a safe space for difficult conversations, Compassion Action Circle was launched.

“We are all affected by these events. They affect our safety, our productivity and our sense of security and belonging,” said Martha Anderson, JD, MDV, Dean’s Chief of Staff.

“Compassion Action Circle is an approach to creating a place where well-being is supported. By design, for some people we talked about the steps they should take when they are in an oppressive system. What steps can we take to liberate all people from environmental oppression?

In the year The forum, held in October 2021, facilitated the open discussion needed to build community sentiment, said Kyle Choi, information project manager at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health.

Choi said, “The Compassionate Action Circle was held at a time when many of our staff members were responding to UC San Diego’s response to the current JEDI-related situation. “The platform was seen as a deliberate and proactive effort.”

The Compassionate Action Club adds a unique dimension to the school, fostering compassion into the academic space, said Sonia Jain, Ph.D., interim associate dean for Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

“Our students are also affected. After the George Floyd incident, I put aside what I had planned to teach that day, a time for healing, a conversation. “Whether you’re a student, faculty, or staff member, we need a place to talk about the fundamentals of how JEDI principles affect the school.”

“The hope is that Compassion Club and similar programs will become a part of the community, so when incidents happen, which unfortunately will continue to happen, our school will have a safe place to communicate.”

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