Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Meet the director: Antwione Haywood, PhD

“It’s really important to support creating spaces that value equity and inclusivity. An equity-centered approach to our work will advance our strategic focus on becoming a socially responsible comprehensive cancer center.” 

Meet Dr. Haywood

Mission Statement

The IU Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center will create an expanding community of researchers and health professionals who conduct outstanding translational research, provide excellence in education, and deliver high quality patient-centered care. We will foster and promote an environment of cultural awareness, diversity, and inclusion as we contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer in Indiana. We recognize social injustices and discrimination exist, and we further our mission by embracing the rich perspectives and experiences that arise from racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, sexual, gender, and religious diversity within our community.  

Vision Statement

The IU Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center believes research cures cancer. It is our responsibility to engage in ethical community engaged research and practice. Community members prioritize individual dignity and mutual respect, and we expect to faithfully promote a culture of diversity, inclusivity, and equity in a supportive patient care, learning, research, and work environment.  

Accomplishing our mission requires the entire community work together as stewards of the core values that infuse our collective effort: 

  • People: Everyone is important to meeting our mutual priorities.   
  • Respectfulness: All IUSCCC patients, families, team members, and learners deserve to be treated with respect, dignity, and professionalism.   
  • Feedback: We accept criticism and recursively learn from our mistakes with transparency and humility. 
  • Integrity: Our commitment is relentless, and we seek to be faithful to it in all our actions.   
  • Action: It is our expectation that we address and respond to diversity and inclusion in our patient care, learning, research, and work environments and foster mutual respect for diverse cultures, communication styles, languages, customs, beliefs, values, traditions, experiences, and other ways in which we identify ourselves.   
  • Accountability: We acknowledge and assume responsibility for where we have succeeded and failed in terms of our actions, decisions, policies, and results.

Closing the Care Gap

For World Cancer Day 2022, Cancer Center Director Kelvin Lee, MD, shared his conviction that inclusivity fosters innovation—and that it's our responsibility to eliminate the burden of cancer for everyone in Indiana and beyond.

We’re improving access to quality cancer care for all patients by:

  • Prioritizing the creation of a Lifespan Sickle Cell Disease Center of Excellence that will increase research efforts in a disease area that is grossly underfunded and provide patient-focused care to this disadvantaged population within an already disadvantaged population. 
  • Continuing to pioneer research on why and how cancer affects patients from various racial and ethnic groups differently. 
  • Tackling environmental justice as we know that many forms of cancer are related to environmental impacts. We believe that where you live should not determine how healthy you are.
  • Enhancing our training and recruitment efforts in our labs and clinics with the goal of hiring a more diverse cancer center team.

IU Diversity Programs & Resources

The IU School of Medicine offers programs that encourage continued learning and understanding about different cultures, ethnicities, and life experiences.

Recruitment and Retention 
IU School of Medicine offers a wide range of recruitment and retention programs to help build a pipeline of talented and diverse health care professionals. 

Inclusive Climate 
Programs to foster an inclusive climate at IU School of Medicine work to establish a culture in which differences are present and highly valued.

Cultural Competency Training 
Cultural competency training ensures learners and faculty have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to work effectively with patients and families, and with other members of the medical community.

This toolkit is intended to serve as a reference guide to information and resources to support university community members as they address situations, to offer strategies for action, and provide steps for building safe and inclusive campus communities. 

Check out the toolkit

The IU Health Office of Health Equity Research and Outreach at IU Health focuses on our internal operations and clinical care through the lens of its diverse patients and communities. We focus on equitable patient access, experiences, and quality outcomes. 

Learn More

Diversity at IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center


The IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center makes deliberate efforts to cultivate a diverse group of members who are engaged in conducting research, service or education reflecting the broad characteristics of the community at large. This diversity is focused on two key areas: researchers/clinicians within the cancer center community and the unique breadth of research and trials they conduct. The ultimate goal of this initiative is to promote research and patient care that is broad in thinking and tackles the challenges of preventing, treating and curing cancer using inclusive and equitable strategies. The IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center aims to both retain top talent as well as recruit new members who bring various perspectives and conduct research and clinical trials that encompasses a range of experiences, backgrounds, and identities. 

Land acknowledgement

IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center wishes to acknowledge and honor the indigenous communities native to this region, and recognize that Indiana University was built on indigenous homelands and resources. Indiana University recognizes the Miami, Delaware, Potawatomi, and Shawnee people as past, present, and future caretakers of this land. We are proud to support Native students in their pursuit of community and success at Indiana University.

#ResearchCuresCancer

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