Development of an Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-racism Pledge as the Foundation for Action in an Academic Department of Neurology

Recent racial inequities as illustrated by the health disparities in COVID-19 infections and deaths, the recent killings of Black men and women by law enforcement, and the widening socioeconomic inequality and have brought systemic racism into a national conversation. These unprecedented times may have deleterious consequences, increasing stress, and trauma for many members of the neurology workforce. The Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Committee within our Department of Neurology provides infrastructure and guidance to foster a culture of belonging and addresses the well-being of faculty, staff, and trainees. Here, we present the creation and implementation of our Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism (EDIA) Pledge, which was central to our committee’s response to these unprecedented times. We outline the process of developing this unique EDIA Pledge and provide a roadmap for approaching these important topics through a Continuing Medical Education Neurology Grand Rounds aimed at fostering a diverse, inclusive, equitable, and antiracist work environment. Through the lived experiences of 4 faculty members, we identify the impact of bias and microaggressions and encourage allyship and personal development for cultural intelligence. We hope that these efforts will inspire neurology departments and other academic institutions across the globe to make a similar pledge.

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