MI-DDI Diversity Workgroup

In response to the racial inequality crises highlighted in 2020, the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute (MI-DDI) launched a series of facilitated discussions on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) for staff members. These sessions were led by Denise White-Perkins, MD, PhD, a national expert on DE&I as well as a member of MI-DDI's Community Advisory Council (CAC) and the Michigan Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (MI-LEND) program.

The three sessions focused on the following objectives:

  • Explain how race and racism historically and presently impacts us at the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and systemic/structural level
  • Examine the intersectionality of race, racism, and disability
  • Discuss action steps for leveraging our individual and collective privilege to eliminate racism and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion

Our mission at MI-DDI is to contribute to the development of inclusive communities and quality of life for people with disabilities and their families through culturally sensitive statewide programs and research. These sessions allowed MI-DDI staff members to engage in discussion surrounding topics of DE&I and how they relate to the workplace and the community that we serve.

To continue our work in DE&I, MI-DDI staff members have started a Diversity Workgroup, currently led by Research Assistants Julia Hernandez and June Malachowski. Future work with the Diversity Workgroup will allow MI-DDI staff to engage in collaborative discussion on how to improve equity and inclusion in our work practices.