Our lab acknowledges the systemic oppression that is present in the world at large and in academia specifically. This oppression comes in many forms, such as racism, sexism, ableism, and heteronormativism, among many others. In our lab, we will continually strive to educate ourselves, to reduce barriers for inclusion in our lab and our department, and to ‘become comfortable being uncomfortable,’ because that discomfort will push us to do the ongoing work to improve ourselves. Finally, we believe that every individual should be valued for who they are, and all diversity in terms of racial or ethnic background, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental condition, religion, socioeconomic and immigration status, and personal history enriches our research and our community. We want to continuously make our lab and home institutions more inclusive and a more actively anti-discriminatory environment.
As a lab, we have agreed upon the following actions to translate these views to actual change.
- Attend trainings to examine our own unconscious biases and address them.
- We will publicly advertise every position in the lab via social media, email listservs, and through a diverse network of associates, for a reasonable amount of time, to make sure we are recruiting from as wide as and as diverse a pool of students and postdoctoral scholars as possible.
- As a lab, we will continue to meet once a month to discuss ways in which we can educate ourselves (such as with appropriate literature*) and implement best practices to be a more inclusive lab and conduct anti-discriminatory science.
- Work collaboratively with local communities when applicable, and acknowledge contributions in relevant peer-reviewed publications and other works, such as outreach.
- Actively diversify the professionals we interact and collaborate with and amplify the voices of diverse researchers, through actions such as inviting seminar and keynote speakers, interactions on our lab Twitter account.
- Prepare ourselves to provide mentoring support for undergraduate students by taking courses and/or trainings ourselves, encouraging and providing professional development opportunities, and applying for funding to support trainees.
- As the lab’s mentor, Dr. White will make time for students and advocate on their behalf.
- Actively support departmental, university wide, and community efforts to address systemic oppression and actively participate in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) initiatives.
*Many of these actions were based on recommendations from: Chaudhary, B., & Berhe, A. A. (2020). Ten simple rules for building an anti-racist lab. EcoEvoRxiv, https://doi.org/10.32942/osf.io/4a9p8