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Center for Diversity Affairs (CDA)

The Center for Diversity Affairs (CDA) originated in 1976 under the auspices of the College of Medicine as the Office of Minority Affairs, which was later re-named the Center for Diversity Affairs. Its purpose was to increase the number of medical graduates from traditionally underrepresented groups (African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders) and to support students from these groups during their medical training. In 2010, the CDA’s mission at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) was broadened when Chancellor Dan Rahn established it as the campus’s “center of gravity” for diversity and inclusion at UAMS. This was done in recognition of diversity as an institutional core value, critical to the fulfillment of the mission of UAMS, as stated in the 2020 Strategic Plan: We are committed to the importance of the diversity of UAMS leadership, faculty, staff and students in order to enhance the education of our students, reduce racial and ethnic health disparities in our state, and provide an environment in which all employees and views are welcomed. The CDA operates to serve all components of the entire UAMS institution, including the six academic units, seven institutes, and University Hospital, in its efforts to become a more diverse, inclusive, and culturally competent academic health center, through the provision of leadership, programs, and resources, as well as collaboration and partnerships.

  • Diversity: Individual differences (e.g., personality, abilities, and life experiences) and group differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, age, culture, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, language, and country of origin as well as political, religious, or other affiliation).
  • Inclusion: A sense of belonging: feeling respected, valued for who you are; feeling a level of supportive energy and commitment from others so than you can do your best work. (Miller and Katz, 2002)
  • Equity: Equality, impartiality, justice, and fairness as it applies to opportunity, access, resources or quality of health care.
  • Cultural Competency: A set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency or among professionals and enables them to work effectively in cross-cultural situations.  (National Center for Cultural Competence definition for cultural competency in the health professions, 1989)

Latest News

UAMS Celebrates Black History

African-American heritage and tradition was celebrated at UAMS on March 12 at its annual Black History Month event.

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UAMS Welcomes Students for Inaugural Diversity Day

UAMS welcomed about 100 college students to campus Feb. 27 for its first Diversity Day.

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UAMS Celebrates King’s Legacy

In its commemoration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., UAMS looked to the performing talents of high school students and the words and remembrances of several employees to help honor and celebrate the civil rights leader.

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Civil Rights Advocates in Healthcare Honored

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Nigerian Twins Choose UAMS to Fulfill Dream

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Bank of America $22,000 Goes for Diversity Outreach

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Center for Diversity Affairs Welcomes Nationally Known Physicist

Dec. 9, 2011 | The UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs hosted nationally known physicist Kennedy Reed, Ph.D., at a Nov. 18 reception where he talked of his work to bring more advanced engineering technology to underdeveloped countries in Africa. Reed, a theoretical physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, spoke that day at the second annual […]

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Summer Students Explore Diversity of Health Professions

une 27, 2012 | “How many of you know someone who snores?” asked respiratory therapist Tonya Cook. The arms of nearly all 105 students in the Summer Science Discovery Program and Youth Enrichment Summer (Y.E.S.) Camp shot into the air. Cook explained one of the many roles of a respiratory therapist is working in a sleep lab […]

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Biomed Students at UAMS Get $2.45 Million Boost

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High School Students Exposed to Health Care Professions at UAMS

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