Anti-Racism Training and Programming

The Center for Violence Prevention (CVP) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is committed to promoting and supporting racial equity and social justice not only through its research, trainings, and programs, but also in the workplace. To combat racism, CVP is contributing to the development of internal anti-racism trainings and programs at CHOP, as well as school-based interventions to better understand and prevent youth microaggressions.

Racial microaggressions are “brief commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities, intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative racial slights and insults, directed toward racial-ethnic minorities” (Sue et al., 2007). CVP is honored to serve as a leader in anti-racism training and programming at CHOP.

Anti-Racism Training at CHOP

In 2020 following the national reckoning with racism and social injustice, CHOP received an increase in requests for learning opportunities and conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. CHOP established a committee of 30 different faculty and staff members with backgrounds in DEI and education across 18 divisions in the Department of Pediatrics to develop an introductory anti-racism curriculum.

The goals for this curriculum are to provide common knowledge, language, and understanding for core topics related to DEI and anti-racism. Two members of this committee are from CVP: Dr. Stephen Leff, CVP co-director, co-led the microaggressions core and Dr. Kenisha Campbell, former CHOP Adolescent Medicine physician and current CVP practice-based scholar, co-led the racism core.

What types of topics does this curriculum address?

  • Racism

  • Microaggressions

  • Health equity

  • White privilege
  • Allyship

How is this training being implemented at CHOP?

Along with the other committee members, Dr. Leff and Dr. Campbell were actively involved in using the curriculum to train CHOP’s Division of Adolescent Medicine and Division of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. The committee’s goal was to bring the training to all divisions within the Department of Pediatrics in order to create common knowledge and terminology for these important aspects of DEI.

Promoting racial equity and social justice is rooted in CVP’s mission; in 2021, Dr. Leff and Dr. Campbell began implementing this newly developed anti-racism training program to CVP scholars, associates, staff, and students, as well as to staff at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP).

Respect4All Program at CHOP

Funded by a Department of Pediatrics Diversity Endowment Award (2020-2022), CVP developed Respect4All, a racial and intersectional microaggressions skill building program using an anti-racist lens for CHOP faculty and trainees. To create this actionable curriculum, Dr. Leff and Dr. Campbell used a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to combine an extensive literature review on workplace bullying, unconscious bias, and microaggressions with extensive feedback from an advisory board of leaders in DEI and a curriculum committee comprised of diverse individuals from across CHOP.

As a complement to the Department of Pediatrics' anti-racism curriculum, the Respect4All intervention consists of three 90-minute interactive sessions and utilizes animated video simulations to:

  • Increase the dialogue around diversity, anti-racism, and inclusion

  • Teach strategies to recognize and intervene when experiencing microaggressions using an anti-racism lens

  • Provide skill-based training to address and cope with microaggressions

  • Utilize the skills learned to tackle microaggressions at CHOP and in the community

In a recent small pilot study of Respect4All, participants reported that racial and intersectional microaggressions (RIMAs) occur frequently (62% reported being a target and 75% reported being a bystander). From pre- to post-program, there was an increased likelihood of and confidence in using a range of strategies in handling RIMAs when in an ally/target role and when in a perpetrator role.

What's next for this program?

Over the next year, we are partnering with three divisions within the Department of Pediatrics (divisions of Adolescent Medicine, Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, and Hematology) to disseminate and train their faculty and staff through the Respect4All program. This will allow for more individuals across CHOP to receive the program while we continue to fine-tune and systematize the program.

Our team,led by CVP’s Drs. Stephen Leff, Rui Fu, Brooke Paskewich, and Nathalie Duroseau, along with Andrea Duncan (Associate Chair for DEI, Department of Pediatrics) recently received an R25 NIH training award: Developing Modules to Address Microaggressions and Discriminatory Behaviors. The 3-year project will help address structural racism and discrimination and its manifestations and impact on minoritized individuals and groups in the biomedical workforce. Team members will develop and utilize a series of 16 training modules designed specifically for biomedical trainees, supervisors/faculty, and four briefer modules for research institutional leaders. Using evidence-based methods, the training modules will be iteratively designed to be feasible, engaging, and efficient, as well as self-directed, self-paced, publicly accessible, and user-friendly in the context of the workday.

School-Based Intervention for Youth Microaggressions

CVP recognizes there is a gap in school-based interventions that address youth microaggressions and racism. Our team’s established bullying and aggression prevention school-based programs position the Center to introduce and explore the development of a critical new intervention specifically targeted to prevent youth microaggressions. CVP researchers are in the early stages of developing this intervention, starting with the publishing of a comprehensive literature review with implications for school-based interventions and school psychologists.

The CHOP team is also working with members of the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) and the Family Advisory Council (FAC) at CHOP to obtain information on youth’s and adults’ understanding of the frequency, severity, and impact that racial and intersectional microaggressions have in the school setting. This will be invaluable for developing interventions in the future.