The Department of Psychiatry has established the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative to foster our core values of diversity, equity and inclusion in all of our endeavors in patient care, education, and research. 

Our mission

The Racial Equity and Justice Initiative

First and foremost, our mission is to advance the understanding and treatment of psychiatric disorders for all. 

We are committed to: 

  • Creating an inclusive and equitable environment for our patients, trainees, and colleagues. 
  • Advocating for equal and equitable access to high quality care and treatment for the most under-represented and under-resourced individuals in our community. 
  • Continued investment in training, initiatives, and programs to further enhance diversity and reduce health disparities and inequity across Washington University and the greater St. Louis community.   

As pioneers at the forefront of research, education, and patient care, we believe innovation and progress in psychiatry thrive on diversity and objectivity free of bias and discrimination. We can better accomplish our missions when our department reflects the robust diversity and talent of our St. Louis community and the world at large. 

We can also better advance our missions when we acknowledge and address difficult truths such as racism and bigotry as a field and profession. When we recognize the adverse impact of racism, bias, and discrimination, we can uncover and address barriers to delivering high quality psychiatric care to all. 


Four workgroup committees in the department are actively working to promote diversity and inclusion within each of the institutional missions of education, research and patient care.

Departmental Committee

The Departmental Committee is focused on the development of overall strategy and recommendations to center work in the department in diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) and anti-racism. The goal is to work towards creating an environment where students, trainees, staff, and faculty are welcomed and included and can thrive. We plan to ensure that DEI work is multidisciplinary and includes diversity of thought, ideas, perspectives, and values.

Education Committee

The goal of the Education Committee is to provide training to a diverse group of trainees that builds an understanding of the complex biological, psychological, and social contributors to psychiatric disease and health. This will be accomplished by incorporating discussion of the effects of racial disparities, minority stress and social determinants of health into each rotation and all didactic sessions and encouraging consideration of all these factors when providing clinical care.

Clinical Care Committee

The Clinical Care Committee seeks to develop clinic policies and procedures to promote culturally sensitive practice and clinical teaching within a trauma-informed framework. This includes guidance for faculty, supervisors, and clinical staff. The committee recommends addressing diversity, social determinants of health and systemic racism across clinical curricula and case discussions to ensure patient care that is equitable.

Research Committee

The Research Committee is dedicated to improving the culture of psychiatric research within Washington University and greater St. Louis community. We are focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion guidelines within the laboratory, including hiring, lab culture, study design, analysis, and publication, and training. A second focus is the relationship with our research participants and their communities, including the topics of recruitment, participant comfort, outreach, and scientific dissemination.

Related groups

The Racial Equity and Justice Initiative works closely with the School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which provides guidance and expertise to support our efforts. Another key resource for our initiative is the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity, dedicated to research on race and ethnicity.