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Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

JED’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is critical to our approach and the effectiveness of our programming.

Mental health is significantly impacted by our unique perspectives, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, genders, sexual identity, and disabilities. Feeling understood, accepted and supported is an important protective factor for our mental health, while discrimination, stigma and mistreatment can contribute to emotional struggles. 

Being intentional about diversity, equity and inclusion is integrated into our internal working environment, and part of every program we create. We also help our partner campuses and organizations to think about their diverse communities and find ways to support the unique needs of those communities. 

Recent Highlights

NASPA Latin America and Caribbean Conference in Monterrey, Mexico

Sofia presented a keynote in Spanish titled, “Social Justice, Equity & Diversity: Culturally Responsive Support for Students.”

Clark Scholars Foundation Annual Meeting

Sofia Pertuz, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at JED presented a workshop on mental health student support to faculty and program administrators at the Clark Scholars Foundation annual meeting. A participant shared: “I really enjoyed the mental health discussion as it is an area that I feel poorly equipped in and the discussion reinforced the need to expand my knowledge.”

Asian American Psychological Association Conference

On October 2019, Sofia Pertuz, Kyle Sebastian, and Sasha Zhou presented on current trends and programs to address AANHPI College Student Mental Health. More specifically, the presentation describes data from the Healthy Minds Study, ways that campuses can use the Equity in Mental Health Framework co-created by the Jed Foundation and Steve Fund to develop better resources and interventions, and current programmatic examples and other research to support emotional health and wellbeing for AANHPI college student populations. Sofia also delved into the Equity in Mental Health Framework, where she describes JED’s core values and mission, an overview of the EMHF, as well as applicable insights drawn from the data collected by JED.

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The World Health Organization defines “mental health” “as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” In using this definition, S2i recognizes that some mental health challenges reflect brain diseases that, like physical diseases, require appropriate stigma-free and patient-centered care and include both mental health and substance use disorders. Other mental health challenges stem from social conditions and marginalization and require different forms of interventions.