JUSTICE, EQUITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
The PAGC J.E.D.I. committee was formed in 2022 to address J.E.D.I. efforts and considerations specific to Pennsylvania genetic counselors and the populations we serve.
Thank you for your interest in J.E.D.I. within PAGC!
Our current efforts are focused on building membership within the J.E.D.I. committee and creating our seminar series. Please share your thoughts to the surveys linked below.
Your input is vital to informing future directions around justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion across Pennsylvania.
What is J.E.D.I.?
In alignment with NSGC, PAGC uses the follow definitions
Justice is achieved when there is equity of opportunities, freedom of choice, and access to information needed for decision-making. Achieving this vision requires active work to break down barriers and address inequalities rooted in differentials of power and privilege. At NSGC and PAGC, we believe that we have a responsibility to strive to reach justice both for our society members and colleagues, as well as for our genetic counseling clients and research participants.
Diversity is understanding that each individual is unique and recognizing their personal differences, which may be visible or invisible. There are innumerable facets of diversity, including race, ethnicity, age, sex, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, religion, and national origin, among others. Diversity is understanding that some differences provide privilege while others perpetuate disadvantages. At NSGC and PAGC, we recognize the importance of all aspects of diversity, and we seek to create an environment and profession which is increasingly diverse and inclusive.
We believe that equity is ensuring that opportunities, and access to opportunities, are provided to all individuals to succeed - especially individuals that are underrepresented in our profession, and under-served in healthcare and society at large. At NSGC and PAGC, this applies to both clients and colleagues. Equity is different from equality, where all groups of people receive the same number and type of resources or support, regardless of needs or circumstances.
Inclusion is the way we create environments in which an individual or group can feel accepted, respected, and valued. Inclusivity strives to create a sense of belonging for all individuals, regardless of different identities. At NSGC and PAGC, true inclusion requires that we recognize and address our biases and actively work to decrease barriers within our profession and for the communities we serve.
Learn more on NSGC's webpage
PAGC Position Statement
NSGC and PAGC are committed to confronting the unjust use of genetic information which leads to the oppression of people of color and other marginalized communities. We believe that the genetics community has a responsibility to acknowledge and address past and current injustices by building trust with systemically marginalized communities, taking steps to mitigate health disparities, and pursuing equity in access to genetic and genomic medicine for the patients and communities we serve.
NSGC and PAGC condemns racist and oppressive policies, practices, and statements. We urge all healthcare providers, researchers, educators, institutions, payers, and companies to equitably deliver genomic medicine to all individuals with cultural humility, regardless of (but not limited to) genetic status, age, sex, gender identity or expression, race, ethnicity, country of origin, culture, religion, spiritual beliefs, language, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, legal status, citizenship, health history, and disability. Furthermore, we believe the burden of responsibility to address and prevent inequitable use of genetic information cannot and should not lie with those populations who have been a target of its discriminatory use.
NSGC and PAGC support measures to remove systemic barriers in medicine. These include (but are not limited to) anti-racist legislation that increases equitable access to healthcare, research that is inclusive of and directly beneficial to historically marginalized communities, education that promotes ethical and accurate use of genetic information, and genetic and genomic services that are delivered equitably to all.
PAGC Action Plan
Over the last two years, PAGC has established a J.E.D.I. committee to address considerations specific to Pennsylvanian genetic counselors and families. We have created an action plan approved by NSGC in August of 2022 and are working in three main categories: outreach and mentorship, research and education, and resource allocation and support. Our ultimate goal is to support J.E.D.I. within our profession and the populations we serve