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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Following the racial tensions that ensued after the murder of George Floyd last spring, the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) formed a working group to construct a statement that reflects our position on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Quite frankly, this type of statement and commitment to DEI was long overdue. The group put in countless hours of discussion that resulted in a joint statement. Last fall that statement was circulated for confidential feedback among the CIDD faculty and staff. Below is the final statement that reflects the position of the CIDD on diversity, equity and inclusion. We are grateful to those who contributed their time to this effort, during what was already a stressful period for all of us who have been coping with the impact of the pandemic. Let us hope that this statement has a constructive impact on moving forward our broader community towards addressing the racial inequities that have plagued our country and serves as a guide to clearly establish our core principles for all those involved with the CIDD.

Joe Piven, MD
Director of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities

CIDD Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) serves individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions and their families by providing high quality, evidence-based clinical care, conducting cutting-edge research, and training health service professionals. At the CIDD, we recognize that neurodiverse individuals have myriad racial, ethnic, gender, religious, and other identities; this diversity is one of our community’s many strengths, and we seek to understand and highlight it. Alongside the UNC School of Medicine, we are committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive, non-discriminatory, and anti-racist environment for all individuals and families we serve, as well as for our trainees, faculty, staff, and community partners. At CIDD, we commit to the following:

  • Condemning discrimination, hatred, prejudice, and microaggressions, while promoting respect, compassion, and inclusivity.
  • Working to uncover our own biases, to hold ourselves accountable, and to make positive changes.
  • Providing high quality, culturally sensitive clinical services.
  • Conducting research that represents the needs and experience of diverse populations and promotes health equity.
  • Promoting cultural and linguistic responsiveness among our faculty, staff, and trainees.
  • Listening and learning on an ongoing basis.
The CIDD considers the individuals and families we serve, our trainees, faculty, staff, and community partners to be members of our inclusive CIDD family. We value your perspectives and input and welcome feedback regarding our practices.

CIDD Statement of Solidarity

At the CIDD, we recognize neurodiverse individuals have numerous racial, ethnic, gender, religious, and other identities; this diversity is a strength of our community that we celebrate. We stand with individuals of all backgrounds and oppose discrimination and injustice in all forms.

Police brutality and other acts of racist violence disproportionately kill Black and Brown people. In addition, individuals with disabilities and mental health challenges are more likely to have negative encounters with law enforcement that lead to traumatic consequences. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed staggering disparities affecting Black and Brown communities, individuals with disabilities, and, in general, the most vulnerable among us. Racist rhetoric and harmful stereotypes related to COVID-19 have resulted in increased harassment and targeted violence against Asian-Americans. These recent events highlight the longstanding problem of racism in our country and compel us all to fight against these structural and systemic issues.

The CIDD stands in solidarity with Black and Brown communities. We condemn racism, anti-Semitism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, classism, xenophobia, and all other forms of discrimination.

We are committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive, non-discriminatory, and anti-racist environment for all individuals and families we serve, as well as for our trainees, faculty, staff, and community partners. We recognize the American healthcare system, of which CIDD is part, is plagued by individual and systemic biases, and these should be identified, evaluated, and prevented on an ongoing basis. As a first step towards addressing our own biases, the CIDD has established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee that will be evaluating our current practices and developing an action plan consistent with the mission of the UNC School of Medicine.

We value the perspective and input of the communities we serve and welcome feedback regarding our practices. DEI@cidd.unc.edu

References

  • Edwards, F., Lee, H. & Esposito, M. Risk of being killed by police use of force in the United States by age, race–ethnicity, and sex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116, 16793–16798 (2019).
  • McCauley, E. J. The Cumulative Probability of Arrest by Age 28 Years in the United States by Disability Status, Race/Ethnicity, and Gender. American Journal of Public Health 107, 1977–1981 (2017).
  • Durkin, M. S. et al. Autism Spectrum Disorder Among US Children (2002–2010): Socioeconomic, Racial, and Ethnic Disparities. American Journal of Public Health 107, e1–e9 (2017).
  • Tint, A., Palucka, A. M., Bradley, E., Weiss, J. A. & Lunsky, Y. Correlates of Police Involvement Among Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 47, 2639–2647 (2017).
  • Rava, J., Shattuck, P., Rast, J. & Roux, A. The Prevalence and Correlates of Involvement in the Criminal Justice System Among Youth on the Autism Spectrum. J Autism Dev Disord 47, 340–346 (2017).
  • Turcotte, P., Shea, L. L. & Mandell, D. School Discipline, Hospitalization, and Police Contact Overlap Among Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 48, 883–891 (2018).
  • Li, Y. & Galea, S. Racism and the COVID-19 Epidemic: Recommendations for Health Care Workers. American Journal of Public Health 110, 956–957 (2020).
  • Gover, A. R., Harper, S. B. & Langton, L. Anti-Asian Hate Crime During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Exploring the Reproduction of Inequality. American Journal of Criminal Justice 45, 647–667 (2020).

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