In an effort to educate and raise awareness of health inequities that exist in the community, the Office of Health Sciences, Diversity and Inclusion (OHSDEI) is pleased to announce the inauguration of its Social Justice Faculty Fellowship Program. This program, headed up by Dr. Noble A-W Maseru, Director, Social Justice, Racial Equity and Faculty in the Health Sciences, was developed as a direct response to University of Pittsburgh students' calls for change in Spring 2020 presented to Chancellor Gallagher condemning systemic racism and demanding the university develop solutions to achieve social justice and bring about transformative change. The establishment of the fellowship reflects Senior Vice Chancellor Anantha Shekhar’s vision of health sciences activism that conjoins a “culture of health” and “empowerment activism” through a cooperating collaborative integrative academic health sciences framework.
The fellowship engages one faculty member in each of University of Pittsburgh’s health science schools (Dental, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health). Each fellow will be paired with a community organization in a longitudinal relationship designed to engage health sciences faculty in learning that addresses structural inequity and racism while also engaging in experiential learning opportunities centered on health-related social justice-racial equity issues. Social justice presupposes that everyone deserves equal rights and opportunity – including good health. A focus on social justice allows an expansion of the cadre of individuals teaching, researching and providing care with a lens on equity and the social determinants of health.
The program is a ten-month project that seeks to fuse fellows’ grounding in clinical care and research with the partner’s knowledge of community, the objective of which is to create a plan to address inequities relative to the health and well-being of the community-at-large.