Arnoldo Curiel, EdD, MPA, is the inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for University of Minnesota Physicians (M Physicians).

Dr. Curiel said he was drawn to the position with M Physicians because it was a new position.

“It’s very hard to go into an organization that already has a structure set up, because tearing it down and starting over often causes a lot of stress. But in a new position––like this one with M Physicians––you’re really able to build something up from the foundation. Something that’s collaborative from the start,” Dr. Curiel said.

Previous to his role with M Physicians, Dr. Curiel was the DEI Administrator for Dakota County. He has also held DEI-related roles with the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, YWCA Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota.

“My goal is to lay a foundation that’s ever-changing. One that works, no matter the year, the decade,” Dr. Curiel said. 

In order to do this, Dr. Curiel emphasizes the importance of focusing on the long-term, sustainable impacts of the work.

“I’m tired of hearing about organizations that host events, or seminars, and then after that nothing else happens. No changes are made” Dr. Curiel said. “I want to remedy that. I want to use my lived experience and the privilege I have to put pressure on the system and massage the oppression knot out.”

He stresses that this starts with making everyone feel heard.

“While you may not be able to implement everything––having those conversations makes everyone feel heard, and feel comfortable to voice their opinions,” Dr. Curiel said. “And I think that’s incredibly important.”