During a discussion featuring community leaders and advocates, panelists shared their thoughts on what the college and UF Health are doing well to address equity and inclusion among the community and potential collaborations in the future that can drive greater progress.
“Get to know the community where you will be working,” said Mary Foster, a retired human services counselor with a specialty in children’s mental health. “Speak out for those who are not able to speak out for themselves.”
Panelists also included the Rev. Karl Anderson, founder and senior pastor at Upper Room Ministries and a local entrepreneur; Larry Green, Ph.D., a licensed marriage and family therapist and LGBTQ+ community advocate; Regina Wims, a clinical social worker; Eric Davis, a social worker specializing in providing affordable homes for families experiencing homelessness; and E. Stanley Richardson, inaugural poet laureate of Alachua County, founder and director of ARTSPEAKS Gainesville and founder and director of the Alachua County-North Central Florida Youth Poet Laureate Program.
“I have been looking forward to this day all week, because it is so important that we put what we’re learning into practice with the community,” Parker said. “I look forward to collaborating with you all and getting our faculty and learners involved with the community to take action on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts throughout our city and county.”