Multicultural Week celebrates USF Health’s commitment to diversity

Faculty, staff and students enjoyed a week of events representing USF Health’s bold commitment to educate, engage and celebrate cultural diversity, sensitivity and inclusivity.

USF Health Multicultural Week, Feb. 4-8, kicked off with welcoming remarks by Dr. Haywood Brown, vice president of institutional equity for the USF System, associate dean for diversity at the Morsani College of Medicine, and chief diversity officer for USF Health.  As guests sipped international coffees and teas, they were invited to place stickers on a USF Health World Map pinpointing their home countries, as well as countries where they had visited, studied or served in the military.

At the kick-off event international students and other guests were invited to make their mark on the USF Health world map.

A highlight of the weeklong celebration was the traditional Cultural Fiesta on Feb. 8, with a food truck rally featuring international cuisine and where student, faculty and staff models became “moving art” by wearing the traditional garments representing their cultures.  A first for this year’s fiesta: The WELL was transformed into a museum complete with artwork, historical artifacts and a sampling of refreshments from around the world.

When all was said and done, it was a week recognizing that the future of health is made better when different disciplines unite their distinctive strengths to provide care informed by the perspectives of a culturally rich community.

Below are some images capturing the thought-provoking and lively week:

“At USF we embrace a cultural environment built on sensitivity, tolerance, respect and equity,” Dr. Haywood Brown said in his welcome remarks at USF Health Multicultural Week.

Participants enjoy coffee, tea and desserts before participating in a cultural exchange of ideas, customs and experiences with international students.

Seema Martinez of MD Educational Affairs

Harrison Browne (at podium)  shared his remarkable and inspiring story of becoming the first openly transgender athlete on a professional sports team. Browne played three seasons for the National Women’s Hockey League — most recently with the 2018 national championship team, the Metroplitan Riveters. He has been nationally recognized for his pioneering spirit in advancing LGBTQ rights and diversity and inclusion in professional sports, as well as his athletic ability.

Participating in a Lunch & Learn panel discussion, from left, were USF College of Pharmacy Dean Kevin Sneed, PharmD; Tricia Penniecook, MD, MPH, vice dean for education, USF College of Public Health; Angela Hill, PharmD, a professor and associate dean, College of Pharmacy; and John Clark, PharmD, an assistant professor and director, College of Pharmacy. The USF Health leaders shared their personal stories of inspiration and empowerment as Black professionals in health care.

Charles Lockwood, MD, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, attended the Cultural Fiesta, which is a highlight of week’s activities.

For USF Health “foodies,” the trucks offering a variety of international foods are a crowd-pleasing draw at the annual Cultural Fiesta.

Inside and outside THE WELL, students, faculty and staff models represented their cultures by wearing traditional garments, becoming walking works of art.

The USF Health Museum of Art and Culture, set up inside The WELL, was a popular addition to this year’s Cultural Fiesta.

Lively music, dancing and other performances are a must-have for every fiesta!

-Video by Torie M. Doll, and photos by Freddie Coleman and Torie M. Doll, USF Health Communications and Marketing