Community Service The Gold Humanism Honor Society

A Celebration of Diversity at UTMB

As our world faced a global pandemic, the United States was also confronted with the complex topic of race and inequality in our society. Members of the UTMB community have ancestral roots from across the globe, and our differences encourage growth at multiple levels in our organization. GHHS, as an organization committed to embracing and promoting humanity in medicine, proposed an installation of community-submitted pieces to showcase both the difficult events of 2020 and our community's response and commitment to equality.

The vision was to create a beautiful centralized display compiled of faculty and student interviews and statements, contemporary and historical art pieces, and a Statement of Diversity that was co-authored by GHHS and the Osler Student Societies. The Celebration of Diversity project is displayed in the lobby of the Health Education Center and the Statement of Diversity plaque hangs in Old Red in the ground floor hallway.

A grant awarded by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation was instrumental in realizing the core vision of our student organization. The piece and its prominent location at the heart of student life on the UTMB campus now demonstrates our commitment to truly celebrate and welcome the cultural and medical contributions of faculty and students who represent diverse races, ethnicity, religions, and sexual backgrounds. We truly believe the Celebration of Diversity installation will continue to have a positive impact on our institutional culture for many years to come.

Project wall.2

STATEMENT OF DIVERSITY: We recognize that despite institutional measures to address issues of diversity and inclusion, many students encounter silent and explicit adversities and disparities in organizations and medical education systems such as our own. We acknowledge the burden placed on minority individuals in institutions of higher education when addressing artificial boundaries regarding race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, or socioeconomic status. We commit to eliminate systemic biases within our educational and professional communities. We advocate for the recognition of injustices and creation of a safe environment for all students.

The recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others are examples of injustices that Black individuals face every day. We prioritize diversity as a desirable attribute both professionally and personally. Redefining kinship is important to eliminate these artificial boundaries. All acts of racism, political suppression, sexism, discrimination, or social injustices of any kind must be denounced. The feelings of pain that individuals have experienced from such acts must be acknowledged. We champion the efforts of our medical colleagues in promoting diversity and inclusion and developing educational opportunities to learn about biases to achieve a safe and supportive environment for all students.

We believe that our members, classmates, and all healthcare professionals must strive to recognize the intrinsic value and importance of every human life regardless of immutable characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, ability status, or socioeconomic status. Professionals in healthcare must recognize the intrinsic value of each individual and appreciate the importance of every human life.

Love at the Border 

Love at the Border (LATB) is a collaborative project created by the UTMB School of Medicine's chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) in response to the current humanitarian crisis at the USA-Mexico border. The conditions at the border remain heart-wrenching as individuals (children included) are in need of basic needs such as food, water, clothing, shelter, sanitation, education and healthcare.

GHHS is responding to this crisis with a vision of building relationships with organizations for the purpose of sustainable outreach and advocacy addressing the ongoing challenges faced by displaced people at the Mexico/USA border.

Their mission is to create a coalition of medical school partnerships which raise funding for necessities for refugees crossing the Mexico/USA border and promote actionable discussion regarding the public health and political influences contributing to this continued crisis.

GHHS is currently partnering with Refugee Health Alliance (RHA) based in Tijuana to serve the local migrant community. Their plan is to host drives for basic needs like medicines and sanitation supplies.

About Refugee Health Alliance

 This is our call to action!

Through outreach to the vulnerable migrant population traversing the USA/Mexico border, we endeavor to educate ourselves on the simple ways we can provide relief, but also share their stories in hopes that solutions can be developed which minimize their suffering. We must remember our compassion and humanity as political policy is drafted which directly influences whether millions of people live or die seeking asylum from terrible fates in their homelands. Together as a coalition of interprofessional public health students, workers, and volunteers, we raise our voices against any action that diminishes human rights we believe should be available to all people in the 21st century.