FEB Challenge

Below is the original PittMedChallenge, FEB Challenge, to foster equity and belonging, originally presented for February 2023. Here, you have the opportunity to lean in, experience, and learn about creating a community of belonging utilizing these wonderful resources.

This challenge is modeled after the United Way Race Equity Challenge that occurred in 2020 and many of us participated in to explore how racism impacts our society.

For our own homegrown challenge, we will offer 15 opportunities for growth in this area and ask faculty to keep an activity log and complete the activities at their own pace.  The challenge will begin on February 1st and conclude on February 28th, however the materials will remain available for those who would like to continue to engage with it and learn from it.

GETTING STARTED: Welcome to the Education on Fostering Equity and Belonging (FEB) Challenge. Thank you for your commitment to making Pittmed a place where all can enjoy full membership and belonging.  

WHY THE CHALLENGE? The learning climate at Pittmed is one that we strive to make supportive for all learners to achieve their highest potential. Click here for a brief video.

There are many ways to embrace and interact with the challenge, including:

LEARN - Read, watch, or listen to the content for the day

REFLECT - Think about the questions that are offered for self-reflection, and jot down your responses

CONNECT - Talk with your colleagues, family, and friends, or join a “Chat for Change”

TAKE ACTION – Make a difference that increases belonging in our learning environment

BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Act: Commit to active participation in the challenge, take the pledge (Qualtrics Survey).  Review the following video to understand why we as a community of educators, are undergoing this challenge 

Item 1: Set the stage: Read “What Does It Take To Build A Culture Of Belonging” – Harvard Business Review.  


  • Identify one strategy that you feel that you can incorporate in your day to day interactions with your colleagues and students.

Item 2: Learn about belonging in medical education – “Belonging, Respectful Inclusion, and Diversity in Medical Education” – an article by the editor of academic medicine, reviewing the current landscape of medical education. (reading, 20mins)


  • What were you surprised to learn about?
  • Challenge yourself by reading one of the referenced papers; what drew you to that paper? How does it impact your work?

Item 3: Learn the steps to address microaggressions in the learning environment (5min video )

Build those skills by Becoming an UPSTANDER. These skills role model moral courage, self-advocacy, allyship, and being an active bystander or upstander to address and prevent injustices (video, 20min)


  • How does your personality facilitate or hinder your desire to be an Upstander in the face of microaggressions or bias?
  • When was the last time you witnessed an event that the Upstander skills would’ve been useful for? What skill would you have used?

Item 4: Take an implicit bias test, choose at least one from the following options – gender/career; skin tone, sexuality, gender/science, race, age, disability, weight (interactive test, 20min) 


  • Were you surprised by your IAT results?
  • Do you believe them? What changes do you plan to make due to these results?

Item 5: Watch short video on stereotype threat (video, 25min)


  • What are some ways that you think stereotype threat can be triggered in your learning environment?
  • What is one tool you will use to support students who might be experiencing stereotype threat?

Item 6: Read weight bias in medical curricula (Reading, 5mins)


  • What is your reaction to this? Do you use language which might be considered to be stigmatizing?
  • What is your personal relationship with weight? How do you approach this discussion in your teaching?

Item 7: Connect with another person who is participating in the challenge and discuss what you have learned so far; commit to putting one change into practice (Conversation, 15min)


  • What change will you put into practice?

Item 8: Read perspective on how medical education is missing the bullseye on visual learning equity (Reading, 10min)

Learn some practical applications for your lecture materials by visual equity resource guide created by Pitt Med Student, Jordan Lamb on visual learning equity (Reading, 10min)


  • Reflect on your last slide set; did it have visual learning equity?
  • Which resource for online images will you add to your armamentarium?

Item 9:  Consider the experience of students who identify as LGBTQ, learn about the perception of the medical school learning environment (Read abstract, 5mins) 

How can we foster belonging for students who are LGBTQIA+? Read section 3 on classroom culture; pages 22 -24 (Reading, 10min)


GOOD ALLIES BEGIN WITH SELF-REFLECTION. Being an effective LGBTQ ally requires significant self-reflection and a strong sense of one’s own relationship with gender identity and sexual orientation.

Take time to consider these questions:

  • What messages did I learn about sexual orientation or gender growing up?
  • Did I ever feel pressure to conform to cultural expectations related to my gender?
  • Did I ever judge others for not conforming to these cultural norms? If so, where did these beliefs or judgments originate?
  • What messages—both implicit and explicit— do I convey to my students about sexual orientation or gender?

Item 10: Watch video on faculty response to being “called out” (video, 16mins)


  • What is your response to being called out?
  • How do you set an environment that allows all members of the team to “call out”

Item 11: Learn about how having a disability does not mean inability (Video, 3min)  

Read some salient tips for teaching students with disabilities – teaching for inclusion (reading, 15min)


  • Reflect on your education and training, have you learned ableist perspectives?
  • Are there accessibility barriers in your teaching environment? for learners working with you? What can you do to mitigate these?
  • What is one way that you can make your teaching more inclusive for learners with disabilities

Item 12: Evaluate your competency in the Domain of Inclusion.  In 2021, the AAAM put forth a set of competencies for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion across the educational continuum. Review the tips for learning environment : Domain III inclusion 


  • Where do you think you stand in the developmental continuum?
  • Have you met the competencies delineated for faculty? What’s your next goal?

Item 13: Read Antiracism Curricular Guide. Meant to increase attention to the way we portray race in medical education, as well as to critically consider the impacts of race based medicine on equity in clinical care


  • What is one thing you already knew/do?
  • What is one thing you will incorporate?

Item 14: Utilize a structural differential in clinical reasoning. The structural differential aims to reframe behaviors and disease as downstream implications of upstream decisions about structures and social systems. This enables clinicians to think critically about how policies impact care at the bedside, and helps to unlearn some of the hidden curriculum in medicine. The hidden curriculum can impact learners’ feelings of belonging.  

Item 15: Listen to this podcast which shares the importance of recognizing the whole person who we might teach, mentor, or work with.  RIMA Module 11 Teaser 


  • What struck you in the narratives presented?
  • How will you honor the personhood in the learners that you encounter?

To Complete the challenge: Reflect and commit to 3 changes you will incorporate in your teaching.  Complete survey here to describe your experience with the challenge, as well as to be entered for the raffle.