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2020 Health Equity Summit

Semel HCI 2020 Health Equity Summit

These are unprecedented times.  The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the attendant economic dislocations and heightened inequality arising from it, along with the urgent need to eliminate the structural racism that haunts our society have all combined in a way that will have a fundamental impact on higher education for decades, if not longer.

We believe at this moment in time, UCLA is uniquely situated to identify a path and build a healthy, economically just and anti-racist community for all. Building from the bottom up and inside out through collaboration between students, staff and faculty, the Semel Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI) Center at UCLA has a proven track record for catalyzing innovations and building a culture of health as the foundation for a healthy and resilient community at UCLA. Now we will begin to refine the Semel HCI’s campus-wide goals and strategies to build a healthier and more just and equitable future for all based on our core values: an integrative understanding of health and well-being; encouraging responsibility; celebrating diversity; and striving for health equity.

The goal of the Semel HCI Health Equity Summit was to begin discussions and map out steps for positive actions to take over the coming years to strengthen our common vision of fostering health and well-being and reducing health inequities at UCLA and beyond.  The Semel HCI’s model includes building knowledge and skills through academic courses and programs, creating experience-based programs that inspire students and staff, leading to social change, and fostering genuine empathy between and among every element of the diverse UCLA community.

On June 30, 2020, 152 participants from across campus, the UC system, and beyond convened virtually, hosted by Semel HCI. Invitees included UCLA student leaders, deans, vice chancellors, vice provosts, faculty, senior administrators, and staff, as well as representatives from across the UC, UC Extension, Cal States, California Community Colleges, wellbeing champions from other university campuses, the CDC, the American Medical Association, and leaders from foundations and community organizations. The specific goals of the summit were:

  1. To bring together a vast array of people to gain their knowledge and expertise, as well as to leverage collaboration across the UCLA community, the UC system, California and the US.
  2. To be bold and dream about how we can strengthen our common vision of fostering health and well-being and reducing health inequities at UCLA, UC, and beyond.

We strongly believe Semel HCI’s work and that of the UC-wide Healthy Campus Network has prepared us to respond nimbly to the current well-being and social needs of our community during these unprecedented times.

Watch the video above of the recorded 2020 Health Equity Summit opening remarks.

Click here to read the summary report from the Summit, which includes emergent themes and next steps.