Our Commitment to Diversity

The Center recognizes that diversity, equity, and inclusion are instrumental components of its mission to advance health and healthy living for children and families. To this end, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee seeks to work with Center and Austin Campus leadership team to examine existing campus and workplace culture as well as develop and share best practices to foster an open and inclusive environment. The primary goal of the committee is to ensure a diverse, healthy, and safe campus culture that promotes respect and inclusion of individuals from all backgrounds, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.

With support from leadership, faculty, staff, and students, the committee has initiated conversations regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion through resource sharing, book clubs, on-site libraries, and guest speaker series. In addition to these efforts, the Center has also committed to training and mentoring the next generation of public health professionals who are representative of the rich and diverse communities in which we live and work:

  • Since 2014, the Dell Health Undergraduate Scholar program has provided funding for undergraduate students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) in the Austin area to gain public health research experience. The year-long internship provides research training, mentorship from public health faculty, and experience with community health research and programs.
  • The Shreela and Vibhu Sharma Endowed Fund for Excellence in Community Nutrition, Health, and Wellness fellowship provides a stipend and the opportunity to work with Brighter Bites, a non-profit organization that aims to improve eating behavior among predominantly low-income families in Houston, Dallas, and Austin.
  • The Austin Opportunity Scholarship is a newly established scholarship awarded to a doctoral student of Black race or Hispanic ethnicity enrolled at the UTHealth Houston School of Public Health Austin Campus. 

UTHealth Houston Diversity Related Policies

  1. Handbook of Operating Procedures Policy Number 183: Nondiscrimination, Anti-Harassment and Equal Opportunity: HOOP Policy 183
  2. Handbook of Operating Procedures Policy Number 101: Disability Accommodation: HOOP Policy 101
  3. Handbook of Operating Procedures Policy Number 112: Observing Religious Holy Days: HOOP Policy 112
  4. Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policies: Equal Opportunity Statement

You can find more information on UTHealth Houston’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity at their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion website.