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A thread for profs and insturctors (especially white profs) on making your course content more explicitly inclusive, equity-focused, and anti-racist.

I teach an introductory course for our first year PhD students, and I'm sharing how I currently approach this in this thread. 1/
My course is "Introduction to health services and health policy research". We cover the major areas, foundational studies, and debates in our field. (For example, small area variation, payment policy, improvement and implementation science.) 2/
The course is a PhD seminar style, so three hours once a week. First, every week, I include at least one reading that is at the intersection of equity and the topic for the week. e.g. we have a week on health insurance, and we read about health insurance disparities. 3/
When we read about quality improvement, we read about why quality improvement on its own does not result in improvement in disparities.

When we read about health care payment reforms, we read about how payment reforms influence disparities. 4/
When we read about decision science, we read an article from a community led, multi-sector effort to improve outcomes in a community and how community voices were incorporated into the research process.

(You get the idea) 5/
Constructing a class this way communicates to students is that no matter what topic they study, considering equity is important. It also communicates that every field should think about equity (not just "disparities" people). My students seemed to really absorb these messages. 6/
In content, in addition to articles each week, I previously had a single class toward end of term focused exclusively on equity. By this point we had discussed many disparities and equity-focused articles, so we had a lot to draw on for discussion beyond that weeks' readings. 7/
This year I'm adding an equity-focused class at the beginning. Still in progress, but will address highly problematic foundations of our field, and what they mean for us as public health, HSR, and policy researchers/students. (e.g. we'll reflect on structural racism). 8/
In addition to this, I try to every week assign reading from at *least* one scholar of color. (I also do this across other dimensions, but focusing on the anti-racism here.) This communicates to students what voices matter; it also elevates the scholars you assign. 9/
Practical comments:
If you work from an old syllabus (of yours, or someone who taught before you, or colleagues at other universities), you will need to put in the work to change it. Inertia keeps our syllabi white and mostly free of equity content. 10/
Don't feel afraid of going back to Google Scholar to find articles. Even if you are an expert in an area, you might not know about great articles focused on disparities in your area because of white privilege/structural racism/disparities within our disciplines. 11/
Another entree is to identify top scholars in the area, then assign their articles. 12/
If you don't have enough papers from scholars of color, do a little legwork to find these scholars in the areas you are teaching. Check professional societies, do some googling, ask your (white) colleagues for ideas. 13/
Don't be afraid to get it wrong on the way. Tell your students at the beginning how you've structured it and why. If the equity stuff is new to you, tell them it's new and you are learning with them. This still communicates to them equity matters, and that you are listening. 14/
Don't wait -- now is the time to change your fall course readings. Even if you already have a syllabus, change it now. This is clear, measurable, very important action you can take to show your solidarity is not all talk. We can't wait.

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