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Programs News Kevin Storr September 04, 2020

UAB School of Health Professions’ DEI and Wellness Committees collaborate to create digital and in-person walking tours for Birmingham’s celebrated murals and landmarks

The UAB School of Health Professions’ Wellness and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committees collaborated to create tours of the murals and landmarks that celebrate Birmingham’s history in the Civil Rights Movement, plus, today’s efforts for justice and healing. These tours can be enjoyed walking, driving or online.

There are seven SHP Wellness/DEI Celebration Trails spanning from historical neighborhoods, like Ensley and Woodlawn, to the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument on 6th Avenue North. They are all located on the UAB School of Health Professions’ website in a comprehensive platform with details about location, history and artists, as well as maps to more than 50 locations around the Magic City.

The trails and their digital maps can be accessed at go.uab.edu/shptrails.

Jessica Denton, member of the SHP Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, assistant professor and assistant program director, M.S. in Genetic Counseling program, came up with the initial idea to combine some of the committees’ missions of wellness – promoting exercise and mindfulness – and DEI – enhancing meaningful dialogue and awareness around diversity, equity and inclusion.

“After the death of George Floyd, I began to see beautiful and poignant murals appear around Birmingham that were highlighting the Black lives matter movement, bringing awareness to injustice, or showcasing messages of hope and healing. I thought it would be great to share these works of art with students, faculty and staff of our school and the community,” said Denton. “It’s my hope that people will go on these trails to learn and reflect, but also to become motivated to make UAB, Birmingham, and Alabama a more inclusive and equitable place to be.”

“It is important for us to remember that wellness is more than eating a well-balanced diet and exercising. Wellness is an ongoing voyage of building healthy relationships, consuming nutrient dense meals, strengthening the body and mind, managing stress, and, most importantly, understanding and accepting yourself and others,” said Kelly Berg, RDN, LDN of UAB Nutrition Sciences Research, and chair of the SHP Wellness Committee. “These tours of murals and landmarks celebrate Birmingham’s history of Civil Rights and allow us to see the beauty and strength of diversity while supporting today’s efforts for justice and healing.”

The SHP Wellness and DEI Committees also designed the Celebration Trails to be a shared journey – in person and on social media. The School knows each stop will have a different, significant meaning for each visitor, and they hope people will share their personal experiences online using #SHPtrails.

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