The Diversity Impact Conference brings together national thought-leaders and speakers to engage with the FNU community on important topics facing the nursing and midwifery workforce. The purpose of this conference is to increase awareness of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in healthcare and underserved and rural communities and recognize trailblazing nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners who have been influential in integrating DEI into healthcare.
This year’s conference theme is Dismantling Systemic Racism and Discrimination in Healthcare – Our Roles and Responsibilities. The goal of this year’s event is to explore the history of healthcare systems as a vehicle for promoting racism, sexism and other forms of oppression. The hope is that these discussions will bring awareness to problems within the healthcare system and empower the FNU community to lead inclusiveness within healthcare to new heights.
This year’s event has 4 main objectives:
- Identify ways to show compassion using diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Describe behavior changes essential to encouraging unity and improving the health outcomes of underserved and rural communities.
- Identify strategies to dismantle racism, sexism, heteronormativity, and classism in health care.
- Facilitate student confidence in their ability to find their place in the changing world.
This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Menah Pratt-Clarke, a writer, scholar, activist, and advocate. Pratt-Clarke is the Vice President for Strategic Affairs and Diversity and Professor of Education (full professor with tenure) at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Her keynote address on June 25 will discuss “Social Justice through Extraordinary Compassion.”
On June 26, Dr. Judy Myers, the conference’s premiere speaker, will present on “The History of Eugenics.” Myers has held a lifelong passion for understanding the psycho-social aspects of health and healing in vulnerable populations. She currently serves on the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky advisory board and is a trustee for Frontier Nursing University. She has received many awards for her community service efforts, including the Spectrum Nursing Excellence Award for Community Service and the IU Service Learning and Community Engagement Award.
Sarika Bhakta, a Certified Diversity Executive, will present” Effective Cultural Communications-Beyond Words,” also on June 25. Bhakta is a multi-faceted and multicultural executive who has over 20 years of experience empowering diverse talent and population groups to maximize their leadership potential while increasing their cultural competency and global perspective. Bhakta transforms organizational cultures enterprise-wide by utilizing Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Engagement business solutions, driving innovation and sustainable outcomes.
The conference will come to a close on June 26 following “A Path to Healing: Cultivating AntiRacism as a Daily Practice,” hosted by Kirsten Ivey-Colson and Lynn Turner as The AntiRacist Table. The AntiRacist Table was created in response to the Racial Reckoning in America, as a way to bring AntiRacism into daily life as a daily practice. This group works to educate Americans about African American history and the Black experience, along with rehumanizing Black people and motivating action to help create an AntiRacist America.
These discussions and sharing of ideas and experiences promise to be insightful, informative and thought-provoking. Frontier Nursing University has made a fundamental commitment to be an active leader for change. We are striving daily to be an anti-racist university. We believe, being anti-racist is not about who we say we are; it is about actions that we take. Anti-racism requires active and conscious efforts to end racial inequities in our daily lives and committing to interrupting racism when we see it. To all our students, preceptors, alumni and other committed partners, thank you for your commitment to our mission. We are all working hard together to make this world a better and more equitable place.