Our featured committee member is asked to respond briefly to three questions:
Who or what inspires you right now?
I am always drawn by people who are resilient and have an optimistic outlook toward life and everything despite adversities. I get energized by them. There are exceptional people around us if we care to pay attention to know them. They keep me grounded and going. I am presently reading and inspirited by the story of Henrietta Wood in Caleb McDaniel’s book, ‘Sweet Taste of Liberty: A true story of slavery and restitution in America,’ which won the 2020 Pulitzer prize. I think it is a must-read.
What have you read or participated in lately that has broadened your perspective or challenged your viewpoints?
I have recently read, ‘Caste: The origins of our discontents,’ by Isabel Wilkerson. It is an insightful account of people and our history of race, class, and caste system. This book provided a perspective on everything that is happening in the US right now and helps us understand why we are the way we are. I am so glad I read it even though a bit late. Recently, I have also attended several sessions on enhancing diversity and inclusion as part of the conference of The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. It was very informative knowing what different schools of public health in the US are engaging in to enhance diversity in student admissions.
What topics or activities are you most engaged with for the current or future plans of the PHHP DEI committee?
I have served six years on the PHHP DEI committee and was part of several activities undertaken by the committee. Now I am entrusted with the task of chairing the diversity, equity, and inclusion implantation task force (DEI-itf) of the Epidemiology department. I am excited that our department is committed to matters related to DEI and looking forward to working on matters that are of vital importance to promoting diversity in our department amongst our faculty, students, and staff.