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The Quarterly Connection: April 2023

Who are we and What do we do?

Hello and welcome to the new newsletter of the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DEICE), The Quarterly Connection. For over two years, our team has worked daily to improve both equity and a sense of belonging on this campus and in the nearby community. Some of our colleagues know these efforts, but many don’t.

While there are many faculty and staff within schools and departments who focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, our office’s campus-wide mission is clear: We are committed to transforming and advancing policies, programs and practices that address social injustices and health disparities alongside the communities we serve. We intend to be a guide to our campus, and our programs are fixated on complementing the work of our campus partners.  

Our team is led by Vice Chancellor Regina Richards, PhD, we are guided by the Chancellor’s DEICE Leadership Council, and our effectiveness is measured through our research and evaluation core.  We are literally involved in dozens of activities, but we have four primary programs – the Healthy Equity in Action Lab (HEAL), the Office of Educational Outreach and Pathway Initiatives, Community Engagement, and the LGBTQ+ Hub.

What You Need To Know

HEAL fosters action and leadership for health equity through training, consultation, and deliberate practice. They have recently started a Foundations in Equity certification program that is open to all campus members (using a CUAnschutz email). They are building community capacity through a train-the-trainer program - faculty and staff are trained as HEALers who can facilitate DEI-related content.  In addition, HEAL offers an array of trainings on DEI and health equity topics, workshops, retreat facilitation, and consultations by request and they collaborate with an interprofessional workgroup on the Inclusive Syllabus Project.  Our office believes HEAL is essential to improving the sense of belonging among all of our community members. 

The office for Educational Outreach & Pathway Initiatives is a fierce staff committed to exposing underrepresented populations at all educational levels to a variety of opportunities & programs that promote and support diversity, equity, and inclusion in healthcare fields, STEM, and research. They understand each student is unique and they equip their program participants with the skills to build their pathway to success through exposure to CU Anschutz academic programs. Their goal is to build campus cross-collaboration and partnerships to expand program services and to increase the number of underrepresented populations in healthcare, STEM and research.  Interested in cross-collaboration or partnerships? They would love for you to contact them, click here.

Community Engagement guides the Campus’ anchor mission by partnering to address social determinants of health in North Aurora with Aurora resident-leaders, nonprofit organizations and the City of Aurora.  The Resident Leadership Council is a group of community leaders dedicated to improving the quality of life of residents in Aurora and surrounding neighborhoods, with a focus on immigrants and refugees.  They do this by promoting access to education, health, and economic opportunities, one example of this being through an initiative called the El Alba catering cooperative.  Caterers in this cooperative are provided training and tools to build up their business capacity and they have already served thousands of meals across CU Anschutz.  Other community-focused efforts include the coordination of career exploration visits and activities for local K-12 students, prioritizing those from backgrounds underrepresented in the health sciences; linking campus volunteers with opportunities to support educational programs on campus, in Aurora, and around the state; and the distribution of a weekly Community and Campus Connections email that highlights a variety of opportunities and resources on campus and in the community.  Finally, members of our community engagement team collaborated with the Procurement Service Center on the campus’ Supplier Diversity Initiative, which encourages our campus faculty, staff and students to purchase a variety of goods and services from local vendors.

The LGBTQ+ Hub offers a safe space, conducts training for schools and departments, and organizes events for the LGBTQ+ community and allies.  This one-stop shop celebrates and integrates the LGBTQ+ community into the daily lives at CU Anschutz by creating awareness and understanding with faculty, staff, and students regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

In partnership with the Multidisciplinary Center on Aging, our office also supports two other pathway programs called called the Health Navigator Training Program and the Older Adult Research Specialist Training Program, both specifically developed to engage older adults. Completion of these programs can lead to fulfilling volunteer and paid opportunities in addition to impacting diversity within research as well as health outcomes for older adults.

In addition to these programs, DEICE oversees the Undocumented Student Services program which aims to advocate for and serve DACA/ASSET, Mixed-Family Status, and Undocumented Students. Our office also sponsors Heritage and History Month activities, including in 2022-23 an Asian-American Pacific Islander celebration, Juneteenth, Latino/Hispanic Heritage Month, Black History Month and the upcoming Arab-American Heritage event on April 27th.

To conclude our newsletter, we are excited to bring you two final sections called "Context Matters" and "Stay Informed".  We hope the information in these sections will be educational and timely.

Arab-American Heritage Month did not become an official observance in the United States until April 2021.  The purpose of this month is to recognize and honor the many contributions those of Arab decent have made to this country.  Our office is proud to stand in celebration of this observance in April and beyond, starting with our first ever Arab-American Heritage Month Festival.  In 2023, Ramadan (a holiday many Arab individuals observe) also takes place through most of the month of April, and to be respectful of the daylight fasting tradition, our event will be scheduled after Ramadan concludes.

We want to help you stay informed about why diversity, equity, and inclusion work matters in our professional settings.  The piece “From Portraits to Role Models – Why We Need Black Physicians in Academic Medicine” written by Adetomiwa V. Owoseni, B.S. and featured in the New England Journal of Medicine, discusses why retaining Black faculty at academic medical institutions is an important factor in increasing the number of Black medical school applicants and graduates.




We would like to thank Chancellor Don Elliman, and the University leadership for making a significant investment to improve belonging on this campus, but achieving equity and understanding requires diligence and collaboration.  The Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement is advancing this change day by day.  In the coming months and years we look forward to highlighting these efforts, and you can expect to see us in your inbox every April, July, October and January.

The Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement


Prepared by the ODEICE Editorial Board: Christy Angerhofer, Tessa Carlson, Neil Krauss, Jessica Luna Garcia, Jameel Mallory, and James Speed