PHHP DEI Committee Feature: Dr. Orit Shechtman

Our featured committee member is asked to respond briefly to three questions: 

Who or what inspires you right now? 

Kamala Harris, the first woman and person of color Vice President, Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay cabinet member (Secretary of Transportation), and Deb Haaland, the first Native American woman cabinet member (Secretary of Interior). They inspire me to see a bright future for this country. A future, in which women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and all people have the opportunity to have equal rights and be in leadership positions to dismantle structural racism and bias. 

What have you read or participated in lately that has broadened your perspective or challenged your viewpoints? 

I am a part of an anti-racism zoom group that meets biweekly. We finished the workbook “Me and White Supremacy” by Layla Saad. It took us almost a year to complete the book, progressing slowly and intently through the painful yet crucial work of realizing our white privilege and unconscious participation in white-dominant society. This book helped me become more aware of racism than ever and to start changing my actions to become a better advocate for anti-racism. Our current book is “My Grandmother’s Hands” by Resmaa Menakem. 

What topics or activities are you most engaged with for the current or future plans of the PHHP DEI committee? 

I am engaged in PHHP DEI Curriculum Team, which will be working on identifying priority areas of content, courses, and classes to integrate DEI content across our College.  We are collecting information regarding content and activities from all departments and programs in the college, to compile needs and coordinate resources on DEI matters.