Latest News

  • Hundreds of members of the campus community recently packed the ground floor concourse of the UAMS Education II building to travel the world. About a dozen countries were represented at International Fest, the Sept. 27 culminating celebration of Diversity Month, organized by the UAMS Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and co-sponsored by the Chancellor’s…

  • Dozens of UAMS faculty, staff and students gathered outside the Medical Center on a mercifully cool and clear evening for a vigil by the Edith Irby Jones, M.D., chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) to honor its namesake, who died July 15. Jones became the first African American to attend an all-white medical…

  • Brian Gittens, Ed.D., who joined UAMS in June as its new vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion, hosted two town hall-style meetings to welcome dozens of employees and students to help shape his division’s strategic plan to invite and support greater diversity on campus. Both workshops were part of the Division of Diversity, Equity…

Center for Diversity Affairs

The Center for Diversity Affairs (CDA) has been charged by the UAMS administration to take on a leadership role in increasing diversity and improving cultural competency across the four domains of the institutional mission: patient care, education, research, and outreach.

UAMS campus photo 2

The 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’ “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.

UAMS campus E view

  • 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 Humility: “cultural humility incorporates a lifelong commitment to self-evaluation and critique, to redressing the power imbalances in the physician patient dynamic, and to developing mutually beneficial and non-paternalistic partnerships with communities on behalf of
    individuals and defined populations”