Track: Special Session
Research supports that a diversity of perspectives working towards scientific goals leads to deeper critical thinking and more productive outcomes. Thus, cultivating equitable and inclusive spaces within all levels of interaction that supports and uplifts every member in our scientific communities is critical. In this session, we will provide resources and insight into our experiences with first steps you can take as a faculty member or graduate student to increase diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts at your institution. First, we will discuss the importance of multi-level action in inciting change. Next, we will cover specific actions you can take at the lab- and department-level to support DEI efforts and conversations. Lastly, we will lead small group activities after each action covered to facilitate discussion on how participants can implement this work at their home institutions. These discussions will allow us to brainstorm mechanisms for ensuring that accountability towards our DEI goals is developed and maintained, and discuss actions we can take to overcome potential barriers to our efforts. The overall purpose of this session is to aid in the development of concrete goals and accompanying action items aimed at increasing equity and inclusion in the participants’ home institutions. Each participant will leave this session with at least one DEI action item that they can initiate at their institution, and connections to other ecologists working towards similar goals. Everyone benefits from diversity, so let’s do the work to ensure that all members of our communities are supported, respected and valued.