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Expanding DEI Umbrella, Latimore Receives Shine a Light Award

December 19, 2023
by Serena Crawford

Darin Latimore, MD, Yale School of Medicine (YSM) deputy dean for diversity and inclusion, chief diversity officer, and associate professor of medicine (general internal medicine), received a 2023 Shine a Light on Antisemitism Civic Courage Award. The honor recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a significant commitment to combatting antisemitism and to promoting diversity beyond the scope of their professional responsibilities.

Latimore, who has enrolled himself in courses to better understand the Jewish experience, said he was humbled to receive the award. “I’m still learning about antisemitism —and people are teaching me so much,” he said, emphasizing his continual growth. “I hope that my receiving this award shows that antisemitism and racism and other isms are inextricably linked, and that we should be thinking about Jewish life and antisemitism under the umbrella of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work.”

In his current role, Latimore strives to foster an inclusive environment at YSM, where every person feels that they belong. “In working toward that goal, it’s imperative that I work toward combating antisemitism in our spaces,” he said.

Since joining Yale in 2017, Latimore has strived to expand the definition of diversity, improve climate, and bring about change by cultivating relationships and finding common ground. Recently, he facilitated sessions to provide opportunities for the Jewish community to express their fears and hopes and how they’re experiencing antisemitism in relation to the Israel-Hamas war. He has also hosted guest speakers on campus to educate DEI practitioners and others at Yale about ways to improve Jewish life on campus and to resolve antisemitism-related issues. As part of a working group, he helped facilitate focus groups across Yale to understand the perspectives of Jewish faculty, which led to recommendations for the university to foster a supportive campus climate.

Latimore has also provided support for other groups affected by the Israel-Hamas war, including Arabs, Iranians, Israelis, Muslims, and Palestinians, among others.

If we can’t solve the conflict in the Middle East, we can work on ourselves, he said.

Through his work, Latimore hopes that members of the Yale community can reach a point where they understand why other people feel the way they do.

“The perspectives are different, and the lived experiences are different,” he said. “But an inclusive environment allows everybody—no matter which side they’re on—to feel like they belong.”

Submitted by Serena Crawford on December 19, 2023