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Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Organ Donation and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Although there are laws to ensure there is an equal distribution of organ donations (like the Final Rule), race, socioeconomic status, and other factors still affect one’s ability to receive a life-saving transplant. One example of this disparity is the gap between the number of African Americans who are waiting to receive a transplant and the number of African American organ donors: twenty-nine percent of the transplant waiting list is composed of African Americans, but only 13% of organ donors are African American (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health). While transplants can be successful regardless of the race or ethnicity of the donor and recipient, the chance of longer-term survival may be greater if the donor and recipient are closely matched in terms of their shared genetic background. Therefore, matching donor diversity to patient diversity can help save more lives.

SODA and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
SODA’s mission is to reduce the organ shortage by inspiring and supporting student-led organ donation advocacy on high school, college, and graduate school campuses. Because healthcare inequity affects the ability to receive a life-saving transplant, it is critical that SODA makes a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion to reduce the organ shortage and support our student leaders. 

To ensure that SODA is diverse, equitable, and inclusive, we will…
  • Develop partnerships and seek out education.
    • Continue to learn about the health inequities that face multicultural populations. 
    • Partner with experts in multicultural organ and tissue donation to improve our students’ resources and ensure our students are learning from these experts. 
    • Share stories and information about multicultural organ, eye, and tissue donation on our social media and blog. 
  • Ensure SODA’s programmatic offerings engage multicultural communities.
    • Make organ, eye, and tissue donation advocacy seamless and accessible for every student by providing both high- and low-commitment options for involvement.
    • Reduce barriers by expanding our student resources and ensuring that there will continue to be no cost for students to be involved with SODA. 
    • Support advocates on diverse campuses by providing annual scholarships to students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
  • Build an educated and diverse National Team. 
    • Create opportunities for students to build career skills by offering paid internships and part-time National Team roles.
    • Foster a community of National Team members from multicultural backgrounds. 
    • Provide diversity training to every National Team member and advisor. 
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