2015–March 2018

Preparing for Change: RBI Activities and Interventions—Phase One

Since the initiative’s launch in 2015, we have undertaken several RBI activities and interventions that have primarily addressed recommendations and events related to racism and bias in curricular and student affairs, admissions, and in other functional areas of the school.

For a comprehensive review click here.

During this time, medical education leadership envisioned a transformational change vision for the initiative, developed and approved an integrated change management strategy and structure, and participated in retreats and training opportunities to build internal capacity to lead transformational change.


February 2018

Integrated Change Management Strategy and Structure

Starting in March 2018, we are excited to broaden our strategy to include more of the people and process side of change, as we move towards our vision of being a health professions school with the most diverse workforce, providing health care and education that is free of racism and bias. Learn more about our change management approach to undoing racism and bias.


February 2018

All Hands on Deck

Although we are all working towards a common vision, there are various roles and levels of responsibility. The RBI’s structure supports the strategy in that we have a change management resource team, leadership sponsors of the change, guiding coalition to lead the change, support from ODI/CMCA, and engagement and representation from six spheres or functional areas.

Change Management

Resource Team

The change management resource team designs, develops and deploys the change management structured process and methodology; develops and disseminates supportive tools and materials; tracks changes; reinforces feedback loops; and supports the leadership team, guiding coalition, and other ‘doers.’


Med Ed Leadership Team

Change Sponsors

Senior leaders play an essential role in times of change. As sponsors of the change, the Med Ed leadership team will continue to actively and visibly participate throughout all phases of the initiative; continue to build a team of support and leadership; communicate and reinforce the need for change now. Many of the senior leaders are also members of the resource team and guiding coalition.


Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion Resource Team

The health-system wide Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) and its three divisions, the Center for Multicultural and Community Affairs, Corporate Affairs, and the Center for Excellence in Youth Education, will provide information, resources, tools, and frameworks in order to help Guiding Coalition change leaders and Sphere participants  engage in critical thinking and reflection grounded in the constructs of diversity, inclusion, equity, and anti-racism when choosing and executing change actions. The ODI will also participate on and serve as a resource to the Leadership Sponsors and the Change Management Resource teams.


Guiding Coalition

Change Leaders

The guiding coalition is a powerful, enthusiastic group of diverse change leaders from across the medical school (staff, faculty, students, etc.) that contribute unique skills, roles, lived and professional experiences, perspectives and networks in order to work together to develop new strategies to transform ISMMS toward the future vision. The guiding coalition has representation from and will focus the change targets on six functional spheres: Admissions, Clinical, Curricular Affairs, Student Affairs, Student Resources, and Students.


March 2018

The Time to Change is Now

Lives depend on it.

  • Health equity gap between white patients and patients of color
  • Differential access to and quality of care for patients of color

Racism and bias is present—here and now.

  • Persistent patterns and behaviors that privilege white students and faculty that are embedded in our structures
  • Persistent belief of genetic and biological view of race
  • Unequal outcomes for academic success for students of color
  • Lack of faculty of color

Diversity and inclusion matter.

  • Increase innovation and less biased decision making
  • Improve both the educational experience and patient care
  • Cultivate a climate of support, equity and inclusion

Time to take a stand.

  • Take personal responsibility
  • Commitment to wellness
  • Opportunity for personal growth and expanded awareness
  • Duty to set an example and establish best practices

Discover how the members of the School’s leadership is taking a stand to undo racism and bias in medical education.

March 2018

Town Hall Launch of RBI

The Department of Medical Education hosted a town hall meeting to announce a clear message about racism and bias: The time to change is now. Discover our change management approach to eradicating racism and bias in the School, health system, and beyond.

March 2018 – May 2018

Creating a Climate for Transformational Change—Phase Two

Transformational change requires a long-term commitment that extends beyond this timeline. Over the next year, collectively we will envision where we need to go, how to get there, what works, and what can be sustained, amplified, and course corrected. Through this process a new more adaptive strategy will emerge which will allow us to continue to work towards our vision in the coming years.

Over the next few months we will focus on creating a climate for change. That means we are actively setting conditions to:

  • Establish a sense of urgency to change from the current state to the future vision
  • Shift our existing view of reality—focus on solving the issue or problem at hand and trying to correct the paradigm in which the problem occurs
  • Build capacity while solving immediate challenges
  • Be the change and become deeply committed to the change process
  • Continue to practice and learn while eliciting feedback and developing mechanisms to course correct and hold all of us accountable
  • Build a powerful, enthusiastic group of change leaders who determine the transformational change targets, identify options for implementation, and make decisions about where energy and resources should be focused (known as the guiding coalition)
April 2018 – April 2019

Guiding Coalition of Change Leaders

The Guiding Coalition is comprised of individuals from across ISMMS who contribute unique skills, roles, lived experiences, perspectives and networks in order to enable the most innovative ideas to emerge. The Guiding Coalition is a powerful, enthusiastic group of change leaders who develop new strategies, oversee the transformational change targets, identify options for implementation and make decisions about where the energy and resources should be focused in order to transform ISMMS.

Meet the Guiding Coalition of Change Leaders.

June 2018 – August 2018

Engaging and Enabling ISMMS—Phase Three

During this phase, the Guiding Coalition Change Leaders will:

  • Identify change targets and develop a tactical plan for each sphere.

We need your input.  Starting the June, we will host a series of interactive sessions to answer the question: “What needs to change in order for us to provide health care and education that is free of racism and bias, and how do we get there?” These sessions are not for spectators.

Attendees should expect to actively participate in interactive sessions with a diverse group of faculty, staff, students, and other stakeholders. Each of the RBI spheres (Admissions, Student Affairs, Curricular Affairs, Clinical, Student Resources and Students) will host two sessions (two-hours each). In early May, an email will be sent out with a link to sign up .

Please be advised that we can’t guarantee attendance because space is limited, and our goal is to prioritize racial ethnic backgrounds underrepresented in medicine. If you aren’t able to participate, we still to hear from you. In early July, we will follow up again via email with a survey link to elicit feedback.

  • Communicate sphere change targets and vision more broadly across each sphere
  • Empower broad-based action across ISMMS by building awareness of the change targets
  • Generate short-term wins and share them on Change Now
August 2018

Content: What’s Changing?

Through a series of exploratory sessions and surveys with students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders in the Hospital, the Racism and Bias Initiative’s Guiding Coalition identified six change targets in 2018 to drive our efforts going forward.

The change targets are:

  1. Admissions Sphere: Further educate committee members to engage in admissions work through a lens of equity.
  2. Clinical Sphere: Using an inter-professional approach, establishing and maintaining an environment in select clinical departments that allows reporting of racism and bias to be empowering, safe, accountable to the community, anti-racist, provides remediation where needed, and closes the loop by providing feedback to the community.
  3. Curricular Affairs Sphere: Growth in personal awareness and anti-racist knowledge and skills among course and clerkship directors who are front-line voices to students and faculty.
  4. Student Sphere: Support implementation of sphere change targets by developing an effective feedback loop that promotes active learning, course correction, and accountability.
  5. Student Affairs Sphere: Adopt and support advising practices by Faculty Advisors that actively address racism, promote equity and improve trust among students and Student Affairs.
  6. Student Resources Sphere: Identify and eliminate structural barriers for incoming URiM students related to onboarding and accessing resources across Financial Aid, Registrar, Housing and Security.

Each change target has at least four objectives that are specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-bound. The Guiding Coalition and its stakeholders began implementing these objectives in September 2018.

It’s important to remember that our change targets represent the starting point, not the destination. Since no one really knows what will turn out to be the best solution early in the implementation process, we continue to envision, test, and innovate until the best future emerges and evolves over time.

Track our progress on our Change Targets page.

Want to learn more about the process for learning about what’s needed for change? Check out this blog post.


September 2018

Implementing and Sustaining Change—Phase Four

During Phase 4, our aim will embed the change and ensure that it sticks by actively pursuing information and feedback, learning from our wins and mistakes, and turning that learning into appropriate course corrections.  This process is not a fixed or formulaic methodology but rather one that accelerates success by building our capacity to be agile and effectively operate within a state of uncertainty.

Check out our updates:


RBI Monthly Action Updates

Beginning in December 2020, the Racism and Bias Initiative (RBI) began reporting out a monthly series of action updates that summarizes RBI activities—everything from new Change Leaders in the Guiding Coalition to agenda shifts within the spheres. Catch up on the monthly updates below.

RBI's Future State

Vision: To become a health system and health professions school with the most diverse workforce, providing health care and education that is free of racism and bias.

  • ISMMS (System) Level: Transform the School from the current state to one that actively identifies and explicitly addresses forms of racism and bias, centers racial justice, health equity and underrepresented voices and experiences.
  • Individual Level: Increase adoption and use of anti-racist approaches, racial justice lens and anti-bias mindset, behavior and practices in education, training, and health care settings.