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Student Spotlight: Laura Sofia Ortega-Flores

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WE, the College of Nursing, join our one U Community in pledging to nurture a climate of equity, respect, and unity. We strongly condemn racially motivated violence and discrimination against people of color. Systemic racism pervades our workplace, our schools, and our everyday life. It contributes to disparities in health, safety, quality of life and erodes individual feelings of self-worth and belonging.

We acknowledge that racism and bias are present within our College and we vow to identify and correct any actions that support an unjust or racist environment at every level of our organization. We can and will do better.

The College of Nursing is committed to a just and equitable future. We will act now. Our first step dismantling the structural processes, barriers, stereotypes, and prejudices that impede our work. To accomplish this, we have committed to the following steps:

1. Anti-Racism Curriculum: We have initiated and will complete a full curriculum review explicitly aimed at reducing harmful bias and discrimination. We will identify and remove materials that perpetuate racist and discriminatory norms and practices. Our goal is to include anti-racism and social justice content in all courses and all programs of study.

2. Anti-Racism Training: We will provide anti-racism training for preceptors, students, staff, and faculty. Our goal is to help everyone understand racism, develop anti-racist skills, and promote unity in our relationships. We will set engagement expectations and collaborate with the University of Utah Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and the Office for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

3. Diversity and Equity Hiring and Retention Practices: We will identify and implement measures that promote and improve diversity in our hiring and retention practices for staff and faculty. Our goal is to recruit, support, and retain historically excluded people.

4. Student Recruitment and Retention: We will focus our efforts on recruitment, support, and retention of students of historically excluded groups. Our goal is to improve diverse student graduation rates across all programs by identifying their needs and providing better support.

5. Social Justice Partnering: We will develop formal partnerships with diverse community organizations to support and promote social justice. Our goal is to build and strengthen authentic coalitions and to create and sustain collaborations that promote health, education, and justice.

6. Anti-Racism Policy Changes: We will actively engage in anti-racism policy changes within our college, at the university, in the community, and at the national level.

Our Commitment

The College of Nursing welcomes and values diversity in students, faculty, and staff. We believe a diverse learning community brings greater respect, understanding, and appreciation of the richness of human differences. We create a diverse learning environment both in the classroom, and clinical setting through student networking and support groups, student recruitment and services, financial resources, community engaged learning, community partners, and diverse student clinical placement sites. Our faculty and staff are committed to supporting students whose uniqueness may present particular challenges. We want to foster a safe learning environment for students where their unique, diverse backgrounds are appreciated, respected, and welcomed.


Contact Us

For further information, contact:

Ana Sanchez-Birkhead, PhD, WHNP-BC, APRN
Diversity and Inclusion Co-Chair
Ana.Sanchez-birkhead@nurs.utah.edu

Nancy Allen, PhD, ANP-BC 
Diversity and Inclusion Co-Chair
nancy.allen@nurs.utah.edu

Melanie Hall
Student Success Advocate
studentsuccessadvocate@utah.edu