Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statement 

The Departments of Patient Counseling and Spiritual Care
Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Health


  • Inclusion refers to the respectful reception, treatment, and incorporation of all people with recognition of their individual and social identities and perspectives regardless of how they differ from yours.
  • Equity refers to justice in practice with consideration of unequal access to resources and opportunities afforded to various communities, as well as the removal of structural and systemic barriers that limit potential and possibilities.
  • Diversity refers to distribution of all members of the department (faculty, students, staff, University and Academic Professionals and Chaplains) who hold different social identities, backgrounds, belief systems, and experiences.

Goals for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity 

  • We will foster and sustain an environment of inclusion, equity, and diversity through training, recruitment, and peer support.
  • We will incorporate inclusion, equity, and diversity assertively into our research, teaching, practice, outreach, assessment, operations, and decision making at all levels.
  • We will challenge long held opinions and assumptions and act in order to change them.
  • We will educate our department members to be social justice advocates, creatively providing curricula, programs, and environments that reflect the diversity of our communities, and elevate cultural awareness.
  • We will evaluate and rectify organizational structures, policies, and practices that cause differential impact and limit access and opportunities for all members of our department.
  • We will foster a culture of respect and inclusion that values the experiences and perspectives of all members of our department.

Promises Regarding Recruitment and Retention

  • We will address intergroup disparities in representation and retention through consistent dialogue and training, and intentional efforts to make our environment welcoming to individuals from underrepresented groups.
  • We will support and advance a diverse department and make intentional efforts to recruit individuals from underrepresented groups.
  • We will provide resources and programs to promote individuals that enhance our ability to reach our goals of diversity, inclusion, and equity.
  • We will advance our workforce by attracting and developing talented faculty, staff, University and Academic Professionals and chaplains from diverse backgrounds.
  • We will advance and build our workforce by assessing hiring practices and performance review procedures to attract, retain, and develop talented faculty, students, staff, University and Academic Professionals and chaplains from diverse backgrounds.