Welcome to the School of Health Professions
Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion!
The mission of the School of Health Professions Office of the Director of Diversity (ODD) is to work collaboratively with faculty, staff, students, and other stakeholders to promote a broadened individual and collective understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our aim is to create a culture of inclusion and social justice within the School, by recognizing its diversity and addressing mechanisms of systemic bias that affect marginalized groups. The aim is to foster growth and advocacy for all members of the School. With support from leadership, the ODD advises and recommends policies, professional development, and pedagogical practices as is consistent with the mission of the SHP.
SHP Celebrates Pride Month
A Personal Perspective about LGBTQ+ Pride 2023
June is LGBTQ+ pride month and it is always a wonderful time to stop and reflect on how far we have come and how far we still have to go. I have been marching in parades since the 80’s, I have attended numerous events for different reasons, depending on the times. Sometimes to make a political statement, sometimes to express outrage, or sometimes to express joy and pride, but at all times I wanted to make sure that people saw me, saw us. Although we have certainly made inroads over the last 20 years and should rejoice in those accomplishments, we still need to be constantly vigilant and aware of what is in front of us.
Across the United States, the LGBTQ+ community has been under assault. Just to give you a quick snapshot of what is going on across the nation: In 2018, 41 bills were introduced around the country that limited LGBTQ+ rights and four were passed and enacted, in 2022, 315 discriminatory anti-LGBTQ+ bills were introduced and 29 became law.1 As of May 1, 2023, a record-breaking 540 bills have been introduced and thus far, 45 have been enacted.2 Nearly half of these bills specifically target people who identify as Trans (particularly trans youth) and/or non-binary.3 These bills include measures that would restrict LGBTQ+ issues in school curriculums, permit religious exemptions to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people and limit trans people’s ability to play sports, use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity and receive gender-affirming health care.
The LGBTQ+ community needs allies in this fight, now more than ever. I am very grateful and do not take for granted that I live and work in a state that protects LGBTQ+ people and believes that we are entitled to live full, equal and authentic lives. I work at an institution that is committed to diversity and ranks sixth in the country on the diversity and internationalization index.4 The School of Health Professionals is dedicated to creating a culture of inclusion and social justice within the School. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community who has been around awhile, I have been rejected by family members, I have been told that I have a mental illness, evicted, lost employment all because of who I love. Fortunately, that is far behind me today and I pray that we have come too far as a nation and will not lose the strides that we have made.
What keeps me hopeful is when I see the heartfelt support, allyship and solidarity that I have seen in the younger generation. My 13-year-old granddaughter texted my wife and I, her two grandmother’s, “Happy Pride” on June 1 last year (and hoping she will again this year). I didn’t even know she knew it was Pride month! I have a feeling that the up-and-coming generation will not stand for the erosion of their rights. Many seem to not only be unapologetic and comfortable with who they are, they also seem to be OK if others are not comfortable with who they are. I believe that is exactly what we need right now.
-Deb Brown, JD
My pronouns are she/her/hers
Senior Education Specialist
Center for Public Health Education
1 Source: Mapping Attacks on LGBTQ Rights in U.S. State Legislatures, (2023, May 19), American Civil Liberties Union https://www.aclu.org/legislative-attacks-on-lgbtq-rights?state=TX
2 Source: Peele, Cullen (2023, May 2) Weekly Roundup of Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation Advancing In States Across the Country Human Rights Campaign; https://www.hrc.org/press-releases/weekly-roundup-of-anti-lgbtq-legislation-advancing-in- states-across-the-country-3
3 Source: Peele, Cullen (2023, May 2) Weekly Roundup of Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation Advancing In States Across the Country Human Rights Campaign; https://www.hrc.org/press-releases/weekly-roundup-of-anti-lgbtq-legislation-advancing-in- states-across-the-country-3
4 Source: Stony Brook Jumps into Top 40 of all U.S. Universities in New QS Survey; #1 Public in New York State; (2021, May 5), Stony Brook University News; https://news.stonybrook.edu/university/stony-brook-jumps-into-top-40-of…- universities-in-new-qs-survey-1-public-in-new-york-state/