By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA MEd
I came of age on the mean inner city streets of Baltimore, Maryland and developed a special interest in diversity, inclusion and urban renewal at a young age.
Today, I resonate with the identity of human capital educational leadership; small classes or teams; engaged students and stakeholders; parents and teachers; research and development; and a motivated staff inculcating life-long learning initiatives and critical thinking skills.
Yet, I am not a career opportunist seeking incremental advancement through the halls of academia. Rather, I am a culturally sensitive and bi-racial physician-executive who senses there are deep, but often untapped, human resources embedded within many universities. If true; they are best released by an externally recruited champion of diversity and inclusion.
A Chief Diversity Officer [CDO]; if you will.
This includes a respect for values that celebrate the unique attributes, characteristics and perspectives that make each person who they are; ethnicity; gender; gender identity; language differences; nationality; parental status; physical, mental and developmental abilities; race; religion; sexual orientation; skin color; socio-economic status; work and behavioral styles; the perspectives of each individual DNA shaped by their nation, experiences and culture—and more.
Even when people appear the same on the outside, they are different.
Importantly, such inclusion includes a strategy to leverage diversity.
- Diversity always exists in social systems.
- Inclusion, on the other hand, must be created.
In order to leverage diversity, an environment must be created where people feel supported, listened to and able to do their personal best; for example:
The BAKKE DECISION
Historically, and for me, an important ruling on affirmative action by the Supreme Court in 1978 was the BAKKE Case. Allan Bakke, a white man, was denied admission to a medical school that had admitted black candidates with weaker academic credentials. Bakke contended that he was a victim of racial discrimination. The Court ruled Bakke had been illegally denied admission to the medical school, but also that medical schools were entitled to consider race as an admission factor.
As Department Chair and Residency Director at a local hospital, I was credited with accepting the first women residents and African Americans into our post-graduate education and surgical training program.
So, at this level of blended pedagogy, andragogy and heutagogy, my mission is to be a modern guide on the side; not bombastic sage on the stage. Moreover, this CDO 2.0 position holds special gravitas in order to set the tone for the future growth of inclusion and diversity thru example; in words and deeds.
Frankly, I don’t see the CDO role as a mere “job”. It is a calling that requires a “hands-on” ambassador — helping to advise and lead in all related matters. As the sage once opined:
There is no limit to what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit!
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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com
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