ADEA Affirms Commitment to Inclusive Excellence
June 25, 2020—This is an incredibly challenging time for our nation and our world. Recent emails and exchanges within our communities continue to threaten the well-being, safety and education environments in which we teach, lead and learn.
The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) strongly condemns racism, discrimination, prejudice and injustice of any kind within dental education. We must, as stated in our current ADEA Strategic Framework, “Develop and sustain an inclusive environment in which faculty, students and administrators work together to create the future of dental education in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.” This requires that we leverage the strength of diversity among our members, the ADEA staff and the communities we serve to develop strategies that help us achieve inclusive excellence.
We are, foremost, a profession! We are individuals who are about basic human decency, respect and justice. And, as health professionals, we are governed by certain discernable standards. The ADEA Statement on Professionalism in Dental Education names six values within dental education: competency, fairness, integrity, responsibility, respect, and service-mindedness. Each value demands that we (i.e., faculty, students, staff, residents, fellows and administrators) maintain the highest level of technical skill and professional behavior, while also demonstrating our obligation to treat others with earnest regard, compassion, equity and humanity. Additionally, the ADEA Dental Faculty Code of Conduct states, “As teachers, dental faculty members serve students, we do not engage in harassment, exploitation, illegal discrimination, embarrassment or public disparagement of students.” By the nature of their positions, faculty have the privilege and responsibility to advance and influence the profession by serving as positive mentors and role models. When an individual does not live up to these ideals and professional standards, there is a profound erosion to the learning environment and a rise in anger and mistrust.
ADEA is steadfast in its commitment to removing barriers and overcoming the challenges that have historically led to societal and health inequities within underrepresented and marginalized communities, and we call on ALL of our dental education colleagues to do the same. As a profession, we will grow ever stronger as we treat everyone within our community with the dignity and respect they deserve. We must work collaboratively to help our nation heal and be willing to participate in critical dialogues that lead to active change for all.
About ADEA: The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) is The Voice of Dental Education. Our mission is to lead and support the health professions community in preparing future-ready oral health professionals. Our members include all 78 U.S. and Canadian dental schools, more than 800 allied and advanced dental education programs, more than 50 corporations and approximately 18,000 individuals. Our activities encompass a wide range of research, advocacy, faculty development, meetings and communications, including the esteemed Journal of Dental Education®, as well as the dental school application services ADEA AADSAS®, ADEA PASS®, ADEA DHCAS® and ADEA CAAPID®.