Shared Commitment

Cultural North Star in Action Grants Orientation

The shared values of the DGSOM are expressed in the Cultural North Star, which was developed by members of our community and affirms our abiding commitment to doing what’s right, making things better, and being kind. These are the standards to which we hold ourselves and one another.

We are working to infuse every level of our organization with these principles and building a community around the values is our first step.

Cultural North Star in Action Grants

Cultural North Star values help us build and maintain a positive, team-oriented culture, which is critical to our ability to achieve our mission and also vital to our well-being and cohesion as a community. Building upon the Cultural North Star Awards, the Cultural North Star in Action Grants (CNS Grants) are designed to operationalize our shared values by building community and fostering a shared understanding of the 12 CNS purpose statements. The CNS Grants will provide intentional opportunities to activate, educate, and empower change agents across the DGSOM.

Apply Today! 

There are no restrictions regarding the team composition other than members must be DGSOM faculty, staff, trainees & students that are current, emerging, or curious change agents: 

  • Brimming with innovative ideas that need a launching pad. 

  • Willing to operationalize the CNS pillars to co-create a positive, mission-driven culture. 

  • Ready to mobilize and eager to build community by collaborating with other innovators in DGSOM. 

The award period will align with DGSOM’s fiscal year, beginning in July and ending in June.  

The monies should be used to support the proposed work operationalizing the CNS pillars. Monies can only be utilized towards non-payroll expenses and within the award period. Eligible categories are listed below: 

  • Development/Training 

  • Food & Beverage 

  • Guest Lecturers 

  • Non-Cash Awards 

  • Project Specific Office Type Supplies  

  • Professional services 

  • Other allowable costs 

In addition to time spent on the proposed work, grantees are expected to attend the following in-person mandatory events: 

  • Orientation: July 

  • Program overview and team building exercises.  

  • Retreat: January 

  • Report outs from grantee recipients and team building exercises. 

  • Year in Review Celebration: June 

  • Final report out from grantee recipients celebrating their accomplishments and lessons learned. 

Grantees will also submit two mandatory virtual progress reports via Smartsheets as follows: 

  • Virtual progress report #1: October 

  • Virtual progress report #2: March 

Both departmental JEDI Plans and the DGSOM Antiracism Roadmap can offer helpful guidance for teams looking to operationalize our shared values. Applicants are welcome to utilize these resources as propose transformational projects that will help us along our journey towards co-creating a culture of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in the DGSOM.

Pre-award workshops will be held during February and March to provide educational resources and support to those interested in applying for the CNS Grants. In addition, these workshops will serve as opportunities for community building and near-peer mentorship to bolster change efforts across the DGSOM.

Map your actions to our guiding values

Incorporate CNS into:

  • Daily conversations
  • Emails and interactions
  • Decisions, big and small
  • Collaborations, within your team or across our organization

Make an individual pledge

Choose the pillars and share the action(s) you will take to bring CNS into your daily actions and interactions. Your commitment can inspire members of the DGSOM community to unite around our shared mission to heal humanity.

Make A Pledge

Try some Cultural North Star practices

  • Start team meetings by reading the Cultural North Star.
  • Take a Cultural North Star “time out” during crucial conversations.
  • Highlight the Cultural North Star throughout the recruitment and professional development process, such as in offers letters, interviews or awards.
  • Attend skill-building opportunities as they become available.

Recognize Someone

We all know those people who go above and beyond – who see a challenge as an opportunity, who remain kind and collaborative in the face of conflict, and who exemplify the Cultural North Star in their work, actions, and interactions. So take a moment to recognize them.

Grab a physical recognition card at one of our Cultural North Star recognition stands.

Recognize Someone

Join a Coffee with the Dean

Coffee with the Dean is an ongoing series of virtual sessions where 10 select members of the DGSOM community can engage in an open dialogue with Interim Dean Steven Dubinett on our culture, shared values, and diverse experiences.


Be a brand ambassador

  • Post the Cultural North Star flyer in your work/study space.
  • Set the Cultural North Star as your desktop wallpaper.
  • Participate in Cultural North Star training opportunities.
  • Wear your DGSOM Cultural North Star lanyard.

For Cultural North Star marketing assets, visit the Downloads page. 


Stories define us, actions change us
  • Small group at CNS event

    "I look at the Cultural North Star pillars as a three-legged stool. I can measure my behavior against them at all times. When I’m writing an email, participating in a meeting or having a 1-1 conversation, I ask myself, ‘Am I Doing What’s Right?

  • Group talking at CNS event

    "I have started using the Cultural North Star to address employee performance issues more directly, drawing on the principles that we are strongest when we show empathy and we have the courage to be honest. Even though those conversations are difficult

  • Woman smiling at CNS event

    "The Cultural North Star has reframed my thinking about how I approach challenges. I’m working on remaining curious and listening to understand when I encounter a difficult situation.”

  • Group of people at CNS event

    "When team members have differences of opinions, I am encouraging them to continue to engage in dialogue even though they disagree. This has begun to change the culture in our group, moving away from gossip and inefficiency to a more transparent

  • CNS event held in auditorium

    "I have started referencing the Cultural North Star at the beginning of my recurring committee meetings, reminding everyone to hold themselves and others accountable. I’ve noticed a huge difference in the way members of these committees interact