Diversity Statement

The Department of Genetics and Development at Columbia University is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community of geneticists, as this is essential to equity, access, and participation of society in genetics. To this end, we have articulated the following guiding principles:

We believe diversity and inclusion within the learning environment enriches classroom discussion, improves cultural humility, and develops essential humanistic skills for providing client-centered health care to all persons.

We believe it is not possible to build a diverse and inclusive community – to achieve equity, access, rights, and participation – without a commitment to social justice. To grow and sustain a diverse community, genetic counselors must become familiar with historical and existing mechanisms of injustice and inequality in health care, and actively work to dismantle potential mechanisms for such disparities now and in the future.  

We believe in recruiting and educating individuals committed to academic excellence whose personal experiences and worldviews arise from varying cultures and life circumstances, specifically people whose identities are currently underrepresented in the genetic counseling profession – those who have been economically disadvantaged and/or historically marginalized due to their skin color, ethnicity, culture, religion, nationality, immigration status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, and/or ability status.

We believe that it is not sufficient to recruit a diverse group of people into our program, we must also foster an inclusive learning environment grounded in scholarly inquiry and civil discourse that prepares our students to be compassionate and responsible health care providers within diverse societies.

Together, our differences make us stronger. We affirm our commitment to the realization of Columbia’s core values of inclusion and excellence as we work to improve health and wellbeing for all individuals, families, and communities.