While racism and disparities are deep-rooted in American culture, during the past year – relational to the murder of George Floyd and the many other tragic deaths of Black bodies in interactions with police, the subsequent protests and uprisings in Minnesota and beyond, and the recent trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin – issues of racial inequality have entered the consciousness of many like never before, especially for those who didn’t experience the civil rights movement of the late 1960s. People and organizations are discussing issues such as white privilege, workplace inequalities, inequities, and disparities built into the fabric of our society.
Many white people, for the first time or with renewed energy, are reflecting on what it might be like to live a day in the life of a person of color in America. Many members of Black, Indigenous and people of color communities are being asked to provide guidance for their white colleagues while also juggling trauma and exhaustion.
Unfortunately, the American healthcare system is a player in racial inequality. As communicators and marketers in the healthcare industry, we are the storytellers who can be catalysts for change – but we need to be aware of our biases, overtly incorporate inclusion into our communications and actively view our messages and missions through diverse lenses.
To discuss inclusion and diversity in communications, Tammy Sinkfield-Morey, DNP, MAN, RN, PHN, CRRN, a nursing supervisor and diversity advocate from Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare (who is also the 2019 Minnesota Hospital Association Caregiver of the Year), will lead a MHSCN virtual education session on June 24 from 12-1 p.m. with a presentation followed by Q&A. She will also talk about a program Gillette Children’s successfully implemented to encourage discussions about diversity in the workplace.
Sinkfield-Morey recently served as a guest co-editor with Brigit Carter, Ph.D. for the first issue of the 2021 Creative Nursing Journal, in which her guest editor article documents a series of conversations with colleague and nursing leader Teddie Potter, Ph.D., focused on methods for creating safe dialogues between people of different races to inform collective understanding.
Minnesota Health Strategy and Communications NetworkC/O Minnesota Hospital Association2550 University Ave W # 350S, St Paul, MN 55114