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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Video Series - Part 1

Published on Oct 18, 2023 · Last Updated 3 weeks 6 days ago


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In the first installment of a five-part video series, “Paying It Forward,” members of the research community at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia share what the words “diversity, equity, and inclusion” mean to them and how DEI is strengthening the workplace. Hear from Sarai Sales, an undergraduate intern at CHOP; Stephanie Bowles, PhD, postdoctoral fellow and member of the DEI Council; Cody-Aaron Gathers, MD, physician fellow and member of the DEI Council; and Lamia Barakat, PhD, faculty member at CHOP and DEI Council Co-Chair.



Cody-Aaron Gathers, MD: I just really appreciate CHOP's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It's really one of the main reasons why I came to CHOP, and I'm fortunate to still be here.

Narrator: What does DEI mean to you?

Sarai Sales: So, I think diversity, equity, and inclusion is all about connection and connection on all fronts. I think in terms of diversity, it's all about taking individuals of different identities and backgrounds and bringing them together. I think in terms of equity, at the organization level, it's connecting individuals with resources and proper access to opportunities. I think in terms of inclusion, it's connecting with each other and really fostering spaces of psychological safety, empowerment and respect among the workplace.

Stephanie Bowles, PhD: When I think about diversity, equity, and inclusion, I think about initiatives in place to start to build out programs, strategies for communications to support a large group of individuals. Those individuals come from different racial backgrounds, religious backgrounds, but in the end they all feel supported. With these initiatives, you're re-imagining the ways in which you're doing a hiring process, recognition, all that to feel like everyone in the end has a seat at the table to move up and build out a goal that they never thought was tangible.

Cody-Aaron Gathers, MD: Diversity, equity, and inclusion to me means opening up and fostering an environment where everyone regardless of where you come from, you feel valued, respected, and welcomed, and really creating that inclusive environment where everybody belongs no matter who they are.

Lamia Barakat, PhD: My first exposure to DEI was during my clinical internship as part of my predoctoral training. Through that experience, I witnessed the effects of multi-level factors on the health and well-being of children and their families. I was also witness to the strengths of families and when I think about what DEI means to me, I think back to those days and the subsequent years and the ways I strive to address diversity, equity, and particularly in healthcare, and inclusion across our healthcare system to support the patients and families that we serve at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia through our research as well as through our clinical services and programs.