Reaffirming USC Mann’s dedication to supportiveness and inclusivity, the school has centralized its diversity and wellness initiatives into the new Office of Organizational Success and Well-Being. Melissa Durham, who has headed the school’s diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) efforts since 2019, now leads the office as associate dean of organizational success and well-being.
“It doesn’t make sense for us to approach DEIB separately from well-being,” Durham notes of the unified approach. “The intent is to make clear and reemphasize the “why” behind these initiatives, which are vital because they contribute to excellence and success of the entire USC Mann community.”
In 2019, USC Mann began a robust expansion of its diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging efforts through affinity groups and initiatives such as Southern California Outreach for Pharmacy Education (SCOPE), which aims to empower high school students from underrepresented backgrounds to explore pathways in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. The school also created Project Wellness to ensure essential resources for physical and mental well-being would always be available to the entire USC Mann community.
Jeremy Dow, PharmD ’21, MEd, who led the efforts as a student at USC Mann and now works as clinical pharmacist at AltaMed Health Services, serves as special advisor for DEIB programs.
Shared commitment and teamwork is essential to these programs’ success in helping everyone, Durham emphasizes.
“Each individual member of the USC Mann community bears responsibility for shoring up our values of DEIB and well-being in all of the spaces in which we work, teach, learn and serve,” she says.
Learn more about the USC Mann DEIB programs at sites.usc.edu/sopdei.