Campus News

Department launches continuous learning initiative for antiracist curriculum change

The initiative will focus on fostering a culture of self-reflection, learning and continuous improvement to advance racial equity.

June 27, 2023
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The Department of Population and Public Health Sciences at Keck School of Medicine of USC is set to launch the Fellowship in Continuous Learning for Antiracist Curricular Change (CLARCC), a cohort-based curriculum initiative focused on fostering a culture of self-reflection, learning and continuous improvement to advance racial equity. The initiative aims to strengthen the ability of participants to embed principles of antiracism into educational efforts.

Over the next year, two cohorts comprised of six to twelve faculty and staff members from the Department will meet over five months in either fall 2023 or spring 2024. Each group will embark on a guided journey of self-reflection and personal growth, followed by a structured commitment to embed antiracist principles in their educational work. It is through this that the Department hopes to provide a more inclusive educational experience to its students. “There are specific indicators of cultural change that we are aiming for with this initiative,” says Jonathan Cohen, JD, MPhil, clinical professor of population and public health sciences, director of policy engagement at the USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health, and CLARCC faculty coordinator. “One of them is that faculty who participate in this will feel more confident in applying antiracist principles to their courses and educational offerings.”

Fellows will receive continued group training, individual coaching, and peer-to-peer support toward success in implementing the new practices they will develop. “It’s very much designed in a spirit of adult learning, recognizing that different people learn in different ways,” says Cohen. “By offering people different modalities of support, we expect that everyone will respond in a way that makes sense to them.”

The fellowship is one of several efforts organized by the Department’s REDI Council – a dedicated team of faculty, staff, and students – and is part of the national Transforming Academia for Equity (TAE) Initiative supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The initiative also complements a number of ongoing curricular reform efforts, echoing USC’s larger culture shift and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in recent years. “Creating an inclusive educational and research environment requires all of us to learn new and better ways of interacting,” says Ricky Bluthenthal, PhD, associate dean for social justice at Keck School of Medicine and vice chair for diversity, equity and inclusion in the Department. “These fellows are leading the way for all of us in the Department to make our learning environments as inclusive and effective as they can be.” (…Read More)