UMB President's Fellows on video screen during presentation

The goal of this year’s White Paper Project was to identify strategies for leveraging inclusive leadership to develop a curriculum at UMB that’s informed by equity, diversity, and inclusion.

On May 2, the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) President’s Fellows gathered virtually to present their research on the state of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at the University and recommendations for improvements as part of the 2021-2022 President’s Symposium and White Paper Project.

The President’s Symposium and White Paper Project is an interprofessional initiative that engages faculty, staff, and students in a yearlong conversation about a topic that is of interest and importance to the University and community at large. The goal of this year’s White Paper Project was to identify strategies for leveraging inclusive leadership to develop an EDI-informed curriculum at UMB.

“We believe that it is the responsibility of an anchor institution like the University of Maryland, Baltimore to address structural oppression head-on and to act on issues of EDI from an anti-racist and anti-oppression perspective,” said Marcella Leath, one of the fellows and a Doctor of Nursing Practice student at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, as she introduced the project.

UMB has been taking steps to increase EDI within University leadership to create a more accessible, welcoming, and inclusive environment. In July 2021, UMB welcomed its first chief equity, diversity and inclusion officer and vice president (CEDIO/VP), Diane Forbes Berthoud, PhD, MA. In her role, Forbes Berthoud takes the lead on UMB’s commitment to EDI by catalyzing institutional change to strengthen that commitment and designing a transparent accountability framework to measure and evaluate the impact and effectiveness at every level of the institution.

Given her responsibilities as CEDIO/VP, Forbes Berthoud was the perfect person to serve as an advisor and mentor to the President’s Fellows as they researched and developed ways to improve the state of EDI at UMB.

“I want to applaud you all for your leadership and for your engagement,” Forbes Berthoud told the fellows. “This is very extensive research on a topic near and dear to my heart. Even though I was mentoring you, in many ways, I learned from you as well.”


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