Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry assures that all persons shall have equal access to its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, or sexual orientation. The commitment to diversity is expressed in the School's mission to “provide oral health care to a diverse patient population in a variety of settings.” To fulfill this mission, the School of Dentistry has made a commitment to recruit, retain and graduate students from underrepresented communities to ensure adequate representation in the dental profession. The School of Dentistry aims to create a diverse student body that mirrors Minnesota’s diverse population, including its ethnic/racial communities, rural populations, and low-income populations. The vision is to educate future dentists who will return to their communities to provide care and increase access to oral health care in these vulnerable populations.

Definitions

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Diversity

Diversity recognizes that each individual is unique with multiple dimensions of diversity that intersect, whether seen or unseen, and that society and community life benefit from the engagement of these differences regardless of culture, values, beliefs, race, ethnicity, language, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, military veteran status, disabilities, religion, economic status, geography or other characteristics or ideologies. (Source: ADEA Access, Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Framework 1-1. www.adea.org/diversity/framework)

Equity

Equity is the fair treatment, access, opportunity and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. The principle of equity acknowledges that there are historically underserved and underrepresented populations and that fairness regarding these unbalanced conditions is needed to assist in the provision of adequate opportunities to all groups. (Source: University of Washington College of the Environment. Glossary – DEI Concepts. https://environment.uw.edu/about/diversity-equity-inclusion/tools-and-additional-resources/glossary-dei-concepts/)

Inclusion

The practice of leveraging diversity to ensure individuals can fully participate and perform at their best. Inclusion is a shared responsibility of everyone within the community. An inclusive environment values differences rather than suppressing them; promotes respect, success and a sense of belonging; and fosters well-being through policies, programs, practices, learning and dialogue. (Source: ADEA Access, Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Framework 1-1. www.adea.org/diversity/framework)

Admissions Diversity Statement

The School of Dentistry Diversity Policy for Admissions states that diversity enhances the educational experience of all students and better prepares graduates to practice dentistry in today's world. The DDS Admissions Committee ensures that all qualified applicants receive individualized consideration within the admissions process. 

Many factors are utilized in evaluating an applicant's potential contribution to diversity at the School of Dentistry:

  • geographic diversity
  • first-generation college student
  • financial need
  • disadvantaged educational background
  • racial and ethnic diversity
  • evidence of outstanding leadership
  • special talents
  • unique work or service experience
  • community involvement
  • experience and/or interest in research or teaching
  • interest in providing dental services to underserved areas
Naty Lopez, PhD

Naty Lopez, PhD
Associate Professor, Primary Dental Care
Assistant Dean for Admissions and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
University of Minnesota School of Dentistry
15-163 Moos Tower
515 Delaware Street, Minneapolis MN 55455
[email protected]

Joel Mixon

Joel D. Mixon
Associate Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
University of Minnesota School of Dentistry
15-141 Moos Tower
515 Delaware Street, Minneapolis MN 55455
[email protected]
pronouns: he/him/his