In an effort to promote further the exchange of ideas, integrate diverse perspectives, and enhance engagement the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee held its first live, in-person meeting in July. Our meeting was held in a central location for us to gather in Middletown. The restaurant's space played a significant role in breaking down barriers and facilitating open conversations. The inclusive environment encouraged us to share our thoughts and experiences openly, creating an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect. As a committee member, I felt honored to be part of an initiative that sought to break down barriers and promote a culture of genuine acceptance and unity.
The meeting began with wisdom cookies AKA fortune cookies stuffed with DEI quotes. These delicious cookies were handmade by Vera Malkhasyan. Each quote served as a conversation piece in which each recipient talked about what the quote meant to them. This was a powerful exercise in which individual experiences were shared in a confidential and respectful manner. Openly sharing DEI experiences highlighted the importance of such gatherings at a live meeting.
We concluded the meeting with a presentation on implicit bias by Nicole Denouden. This presentation emphasized the role personal biases play in healthcare and how they can affect the populations we serve. As a newer pharmacist, I believe this type of presentation should be given to all who work in healthcare. It is difficult for most people to face their own biases. Providing an opportunity to discuss implicit bias in a supportive environment allows individuals to recognize, process and make it easier to digest.
As we move forward, it is crucial to keep the momentum going - continuously learning and evolving. By building on the lessons and connections formed during this meeting, we can collectively create a more equitable and inclusive environment for all, both within our organization and in the broader community.
Submitted by Christelle Bibo, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Member