Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis was founded to advance health and ignite leadership through innovative education, transformative research and bold system change. UC Davis is a public, land-grant university, and as such, we are committed to partnerships with communities, to educational practices and research that move us toward equity in health status, and to strategies that reduce disparities in delivery of high-quality and culturally respectful health care.

We recognize that there are imbalances of power, access, opportunities and resources within our local, national, and global communities. These imbalances often result in or lead to health disparities and health inequities. We distinguish between these two subjects in that health disparities implies quantitative differences in health status or quality of care while health inequities are the power imbalances between groups of people.

We are committed to seeing one another as whole people and not simply as single aspects of our personhood. Diversity for us includes an infinite number and intersections of dimensions of identity, including age, gender identity, sexual orientation, cognitive style, ability status, job description, nationality, religion, immigration status, economic profile, body habitus, trauma history, what we have experienced and where we are from, to name just a few of these dimensions. Additionally, race and ethnicity continue to be powerful mediators of bias and equity and are frequent challenges to embracing diversity. Diversity creates broader agendas and more relevant, sustainable solutions. Diversity is about who is employed, recruited or admitted to our school. In order to achieve equity, we must first recognize and support diversity.

Inclusion is about how we nurture and implement (replacing operationalize) an organizational and academic culture on a daily basis wherein individuals’ potential and contributions are honored. Inclusion means opportunities for expression, participation, mentoring and promotion are extended equitably to each member of our school community, including students, staff, administrators and faculty.

Diversity with the full support of inclusion results in more creative problem naming and problem solving. This coupling also results in the kind of authentic relationship building that values each individual’s contribution as part of the growth and development of a larger community.

Our diverse research and inclusive classrooms must reflect the diversity of UC Davis and the communities we serve. We aim to prepare graduates who can inform and participate in improving the health policies needed for health equity to be achieved and for longstanding patterns of inequality to be interrupted. Experiencing and embracing diversity and inclusion enables our graduates to appreciate the innovative leadership required to address these complex issues.

We honor the countless aspects of diversity reflected within the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing community. Still, we acknowledge that race, as an historic and current process of behaviors, actions and consequences, continues to play an ongoing, central and unique organizing role in our society. We define race as a set of superficial characteristics that we subconsciously believe about the core or potential of a person. While prejudice and discrimination define specific behaviors of individuals, racism is defined by policies and procedures embedded into the way social institutions operate daily, that produce predictable outcomes that are unequal due to race.

We are committed to an anti-racist approach, defined by individual and collective commitment to relentlessly examining the processes that repeatedly advantage and develop the potential of one group over another. The anti-racist framework should sharpen our individual and collective skills of interrogating and dismantling all forms of oppression, including those associated with disabilities, religious differences, LGBTQIA issues, etc.  

To have a sustainable model of diversity and inclusion, we take compassion and humility as our guiding compass. As we learn and work together through the ebb and flow of our development as an organization and as individuals, we commit to living and working out the principles of a cultural humility framework that encompasses these three features: 

  • a commitment to ongoing learning, self-evaluation and self-critique;
  • lessening power imbalances, inherent in the clinician-patient, teacher-student, community-academic dynamics, as well as in the professional hierarchies that exist within the academic health center;
  • honoring the expertise that exists in others including the surrounding community, establishing mutually non-paternalistic partnerships.

The goal of this cultural humility approach is to continually nurture a genuine feeling of community and belonging across all individuals within our school, embodying a humble perspective. This approach leverages the expression and integration of each person’s talents, perspectives and unique lived experiences to create an innovative, nimble academic group that extends the highest, most impactful service to the larger university, regional community and beyond. The UC Davis Principles of Community guide our behavior and self-reflection.

All members of our school have the responsibility and accountability to maintain and raise awareness of diversity and inclusion issues and challenges within our work environment and surrounding community. Without public accountability, focus and priority can be lost, leading to misplaced emphasis away from our pursuit of health and employment equity at the Betty Irene Moore school of Nursing. As such, our school leadership fully supports its enactment in everyday interactions, business and the public posting of our progress.

We pledge to reflect over time on how seriously and substantively we are implementing our commitment. We commit to being team members of a learning organization, who can give and receive feedback graciously and without retribution and to engage respectfully with members of our community at all levels.  We each aspire to be leaders in turning the tide in our national discourse on race, equity and justice. Ultimately, we hope to enhance our performance, creativity, leadership and inclusion excellence in service to our students, ourselves, our region, nation and world.