Today is the first day of Black History Month in the United States, a time set aside to celebrate the contributions of Black people to the world and reflect on their resilience in the face of extraordinary adversity. Joe DiCarlo, our Global Spiritual Advisor and a member of our Diversity Advisory Council, shares his reflections on Black History Month.

Read on to hear more from Joe and our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion!

Transforming the dream to reality from Joe

To commemorate Black History Month every February, I listen to the I Have a Dream speech delivered on August 28, 1963, by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. In his speech, Dr. King casts a dream of a country more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

But I am always left with a question,

“What will it take for the dream to become a reality?”

At Medical Teams, we have been on a journey of creating a more inclusive culture where everyone feels they belong. Our goal is a culture where everyone feels respected, valued, and safe. In this 3-year journey, we have learned it takes three key elements to transform this dream into a reality.

We learned it takes leadership, commitment, and action.

Leadership, commitment, and action

First, it takes leadership that starts with the Board of Directors and filters down to each staff member. Our work in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion began with the Board’s development of a Medical Teams’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy. The policy provides a framework for establishing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals and for staff accountability to its expectations.

Second, it takes commitment to honest self-reflection, respectful discussion, and learning. As we become more proximate to non-inclusive behaviors at the workplace, it’s essential to honestly reflect on our own attitudes and behaviors and consider how we may be contributing to a non-inclusive climate at Medical Teams.

And thirdly, it takes action for a more inclusive dream to become a reality. While Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training sessions are critical, training alone is not the primary objective. The primary objective is measurable attitude and behavior change as we co-create a more inclusive culture at Medical Teams.

The essential work of inclusivity

Leadership, commitment, and action requires painstaking work. But it’s essential work, not only because we believe a more diverse organization results in better decisions for the people we serve. It’s also because we believe every person is made in the image of God and has inherent value.

We aspire to treat everyone with the dignity divinely ascribed to them by God.

Therefore, to commemorate Black History Month this year, let us demonstrate personal leadership through humble reflection and increased learning that leads to action. No matter how small the step forward, it all contributes to transforming the dream into a reality.

Black History Month at Medical Teams

As Joe so wisely shares, we can all demonstrate personal leadership this February and always. At Medical Teams, that means things like: continued education through our Diversity Advisory Council and eCornell courses, reflection through prayer and devotional groups, recognizing the complicated history of humanitarian work around the world, serving our neighbors in the U.S. with health care through Care & Connect Mobile Health, and more!

Learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion at Medical Teams.

headshot of Joe Dicarlo

Joe DiCarlo

As global ambassador at Medical Teams, Joe elevates the significance of faith in our organization. He ensures our Christian identity permeates throughout all we do. He also promotes the spiritual growth and well-being of staff and volunteers, and represents the organization to external audiences.