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Day of Reflection: Learning, Connecting and Moving Forward Together at Novartis

Originally published at Novartis Pharmaceuticals is a DiversityInc Hall of Fame company.


In 2020, Novartis made a commitment to turn a moment into a movement to stand up for justice. Today, we marked the continuation of this journey during our second annual Day of Reflection – Forward Together.

“Last year’s Day of Reflection was so successful that we wanted to make this type of thoughtful, informative discussion an annual event. I was so moved by the incredible speakers we had and the compelling conversations they prompted. I am confident that the Day of Reflection inspires Novartis employees to continue serving as beacons of acceptance and respect both at work and beyond,” said Marion Brooks, US Head of Diversity & Inclusion for Novartis.

The Day of Reflection commemorates Juneteenth which celebrates June 19, 1865, the day emancipation finally reached enslaved people in the deepest parts of the former Confederacy two full years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed into law. We are proud to recognize this important day by fostering a greater understanding of how we can move forward together and be a part of the change within and outside of Novartis. Juneteenth became a US federal holiday on June 17, 2021.

During this hallmark event, associates learned from an inspiring lineup of nationally recognized experts on many aspects of diversity and inclusion. They were able to join one of several breakout sessions covering important topics such as:

  • The historical mistrust, social inequities and deceptive medical practices impacting how communities of color engage with healthcare systems;
  • The role of Otherism as a weaponized social construct throughout history and what we can do as an organization to acknowledge and fight against Otherism;
  • The specific challenges women, people of color, and other underrepresented groups face in the workplace, and how associates can act as allies; and
  • How we can continue the dialogue on psychological safety and speaking up beyond the Day of Reflection.

Diversity and inclusion is embedded in our culture and business framework. The Day of Reflection aligns with the larger Novartis efforts around both diversity and inclusion and psychological safety.

We are proud to be able to offer these continued opportunities to take a break from our normal routines to connect, reflect and discover the many ways we can be more inclusive and engage. This annual Day of Reflection, for all associates, allows us to continue these essential conversations while honoring our common humanity.

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