April 15, 2022


The Office for Health, Equity, and Inclusion (OHEI) hosted a celebration of appreciation for our Michigan Medicine Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leads on Friday, April 8 at North Campus Research Building (NCRB).  The theme of the event was Sparking Hope. 

Throughout the event messages of appreciation and moments of hope were acknowledged by Michigan Medicine leaders and managers of how their DEI Implementation Lead has impacted the culture in their respective departments.  

Soundbites from our community:   

(DEI Leads) Have created novel initiatives that have fostered a sense of belonging and made employees feel that their voices truly matter in conversations. 

Their efforts have transformed the way our organization discussed DE&I – rather than worrying about saying the wrong thing and being criticized, we can have courageous conversation because our goal is to help each other learn and understand.  


Various DEI Leads also shared perspective on leading in their units and departments and the impact they’ve had toward change:  

Mussa Ibrahim, Clinical Research Coordinator, Clinical Trials Unit, spoke of the importance of being heard and accepting the help of others.  He draws inspiration from the other Leads.  Mussa said, “My efforts are about no one having to feel they are alone.” 


Erin Khang, Social Work Manager in the Department of Social Work shared that she strongly identifies with the word GIVE, when she thinks of belonging. G – Grace, I – Inclusion, V – Validation, and E – Empathy. Additionally, Erin emphasized the importance of self-care and wellness when doing this work. “You need to complete your stress cycle and decompress fully.”


Kimberly Gates, Breeding Colony Supervisor, Unit for Lab Animal Medicine is a self-proclaimed introvert who has seen how her voice can be for others.  The Lead role gives her the courage to voice her opinion and be more comfortable with the uncomfortable. She has become an ally, especially for folks with disabilities. 


At the conclusion of the event, Dr. David J. Brown, Associate VP and Associate Dean for OHEI, Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology sparked hope and charged attendees to continue challenging and disrupting inequalities and to live belonging because, “the sun is huge, and there is enough light for us all!”  

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