Anti-Racism Urgent Action Committee

The University of Illinois College of Medicine has established the Anti-Racism Urgent Action Committee.

The committee’s charge is to use the next two to three months to establish an immediate action plan for mitigating the impacts of racism and/or reducing systemic inequities facing people of color by focusing on two types of urgent actions:

  • Immediate changes in policies, processes, or training that will ensure short-term change
  • Immediate change to college-wide goals and metrics that will enable necessary medium and long-term change

The initial focus areas are:

  1. Medical School Curriculum
  2. Student Learning Environment
  3. Resident Recruitment and Concerns
  4. Student/Faculty /Staff Recruitment & Retention
  5. Faculty/Staff Development
  6. Faculty/Staff Environment
  7. External Impact

Committee Members

Dr. Jo-Ann Archey
Assist. Dean Diversity & Inclusion
Urbana

Dr. Jon Art
Assoc. Dean Graduate College, Associate Professor
Chicago

Tatiana Betancur Giraldo
Medical Student
Rockford

Marcus Chism Betts
Visting Asst. Vice Chancellor for External Engagement
Chicago

Dr. Alana Biggers
Assistant Professor of Clincal Medicine
Chicago

Joshua Butler
Chief Advancement Officer
Chicago

Yolando Campbell
Assist. Director for Outreach and Recruitment
Chicago

Dr. Gloria Elam
Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Chair of ARUAC
Chicago

Hanna Erickson
Medical Student
Urbana

Dr. Koren Ganas
Psychiatry Clerkship Director
Rockford

Daphne Gavins
Director of Human Resources & Faculty Affairs
Chicago

Dr. Memoona Hasnain
Interim Head of Family Medicine & Professor
Chicago

Dr. Amber Hathcock
Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine
Chicago

Dr. Alesia Oscea Hawkins-Jones
Director of Research
Rockford

Dr. Heather Heiman
Assoc. Dean for Medical Education
Chicago

Dr. Hana Hinkle
Assoc. Director Rural Health Development, Clinical Associate
Rockford

Dr. Brittani James
Asst. Professor of Clinical Family Medicine
Chicago

Marchello Johnson
Director Financial Aid
Chicago

Dr. Janet Arlene Jokela
Regional Dean
Urbana

Dr. Kristen Kenan
Clinical Physician
Chicago

Dr. Kristi Kirschner
Clniical Professor
Chicago

Dr. Tim Lacy
Director of Medical Student Learning Environment
Chicago

Dr. Sally Campbell Lee
Assoc. Professor, Director of Transfusion Medicine
Chicago

Dr. Abby Litwiller
Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education
Chicago

Dr. Claudia Lora Assoc.
Professor, Associate Head of Nephrology
Chicago

Dr. Pauline Maki
Prof. of Psychiatry & Psychology, Senior Director of Research, Associate Professor
Chicago

Dr. Michele Mariscalco
Asst. Vice Chancellor-Health Sciences Student Affairs
Chicago

Dr. Joanna Michel
Director of Urban Medicine Program
Chicago

Beth Wrona Murphy
Senior Director of Special Projects
Chicago

Dr. Amalia V. Pallares
Assoc. Chancellor & Vice Provost for Diversity, Professor Latin American & Latino Studies
Chicago

Dr. Heather Prendergast Professor (CT)
Assoc. Head for Academic Affairs, Resident Research Director
Chicago

Dr. Mark Rosenblatt
Executive Dean, College of Medicine
Chicago

Yolanda Faye Silas
Assoc. Director of Human Resources
Chicago

Dr. H. Steven Sims
Assoc. Professor of Otolaryngology
Chicago

Jasmine Solola
Medical Student
Chicago

Brianna Nicole Stewart
Medical Student
Peoria

Dr. Trevonne Thompson
Assoc. Dean for Admissions
Chicago

Maria Gabriela Valle Coto
Medical Student
Chicago

Dr. Terry Vanden Hoek
Head and Chief of Service, Chief Medical Officer
Chicago

Dr. Elas Vazquez-Melendez
Assist. Dean for Diversity & Inclusion, Assoc. Professor of Clinical Medicine
Peoria

Stacey Walters
Director of Career Services
Chicago

Dr. Karriem Watson
Assoc. Director, Health Equity & Community Engagement, Clinical Assist. Professor
Chicago

Denise Yates
Director of Programs, Office of Graduate Diversity Programs
Chicago

Subcommittee Information

Below are detailed descriptions of each of the subcommittees. Four subcommittees (*) will address the concerns at the Chicago campus. These same four concerns will be addressed at the Peoria, Rockford and Urbana campuses by the various task force/committees identified below. The three college wide subcommittees will consist of members from all four campuses in order to provide a unified strategy of action.

*Student Learning Environment – This Chicago subcommittee will focus on improving all aspects of the black student experience – counseling, mentoring, mental health and wellness, reporting mistreatment or concerns, learning climate, tutoring, scholarship support, etc.

*Resident Recruitment and Concerns – This Chicago subcommittee will focus on improving the recruitment of black residents/fellows and will focus on the experience of these learners. Aspects of counseling, mentoring, mental health and wellness, reporting avenues for mistreatment racism/ concerns, hospital support and the clinical climate will be primary focus areas.

*Student/Faculty/Staff Recruitment and Retention – This Chicago subcommittee will focus on strategies to increase attention to recruitment of black students, faculty and staff. Student recruitment falls under the Admissions Office – recent changes in recruitment and active engagement of ambassadors and staff can be further expanded to encourage more black applicants and acceptances to the COM. Some of these strategies can be utilized in the search/hiring of black faculty and staff. Outreach approaches, widening and conducting holistic searches and strategies for holding hiring officers accountable will be tasks for this committee to consider. Plans to improve retention of the black faculty and staff must also be addressed.

*Faculty/Staff Environment – This Chicago subcommittee will focus on improving all aspects of the faculty/staff experience – counseling, mentoring, mental health and wellness, reporting mistreatment or concerns, the clinical, administrative and research climate.

Faculty and Staff Development – This college-wide subcommittee will develop and present faculty and staff education around being active in the anti-racism culture. Education on racial inequities, micro aggressions, caring for diverse patient populations, improving teaching techniques/content that is free of bias and encouraging engagement of active bystanders will be some of the content presented to faculty and staff in order to improve the environment for students and other members of the college community.

Medical School Curriculum – This college-wide subcommittee will plan the summer anti-racism reading/discussion group for incoming students and plan roll out across all phases later this year. Additionally, this subcommittee will focus on reviewing the current curriculum content in all phases to remove biases and inaccuracies, identify deficiencies/omission (that need to be added into the curriculum) and to continue to incorporate the social determinants of health into the materials being taught.

External impact – This college-wide subcommittee will formulate a call and action plan for UI COM to make an impact in the communities we serve. The college should serve as an advocate for patients and the needs of the community while addressing the health disparities affecting our patients. This subcommittee will recommend steps for moving forward for UI COM.

Peoria – The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force will prioritize and address all of the components of the subcommittees denoted with an asterisk* as they pertain to Peoria.

Rockford – The ad hoc Committee on Diversity and Inclusion will prioritize and address all of the components of the subcommittees denoted with an asterisk* as they pertain to Rockford.

Urbana – The Racial Reform and Social Justice Task Force will prioritize and address all of the components of the subcommittees denoted with an asterisk* as they pertain to Urbana.

The steering committee will meet twice monthly and we expect that the subcommittees will have substantive progress reports at these sessions.

If you have any questions, please email Dr. Elam, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, and Chair of the Anti-Racism Urgent Action Committee at [email protected] or Beth Wrona Murphy, Senior Director of Special Projects, at [email protected].