Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

07/21/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 07/22/2021 07:23

Thousands participate in first Penn State Health Inclusion Challenge

Employees watched videos, read articles, cooked ethnic recipes and more ─ all to learn how to build a more diverse and welcoming workplace during Penn State Health's inaugural Inclusion Challenge June 1-30.

July 21, 2021Penn State Health News

Sponsored by the health system's Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the 22-day challenge featured a variety of activities built around different themes each week, from social justice to talking about race.

'The Inclusion Challenge provided an opportunity for Penn State Health and College of Medicine staff to increase their awareness of different aspects of diversity during their own time,' said Lynette Chappell-Williams, Penn State Health vice president and chief diversity officer. 'The feedback we received was that the information was insightful and helped to support the elimination of bias.'

Resources included how to be an upstander against racism, disability inclusion and understanding sexual and gender minorities. The challenge included weekend activities that employees could share with their families and friends.

Two of the more popular activities, according to the number of participants, were a conversation with a Penn State Health employee and his mother who are related to the late Wally Triplett, one of the first Black players on Penn State's football team, and an article about weight and body image. One employee wrote: 'One type of diversity we don't talk about is size. Loved this. I actually have now shared it with several friends and family.'

'We also heard that our staff wants to be more involved in diversity and inclusion activities, so we are looking for volunteers to help plan cultural festivals and diversity workshops and to serve as facilitators for discussions about upstanding,' Chappell-Williams said.

Due to the positive response, the second annual Inclusion Challenge is scheduled for March 2022. Individuals who want to help plan the content or other diversity and inclusion programs can email Chappell-Williams or call 717-531-1012.

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