Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
In our lab, we differ in many ways, from where we come from geographically and socioeconomically to how we live and identify. What we share is a commitment to making our communities more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just, and to creating a space where we all feel safe, welcomed, respected, celebrated, and empowered, not in spite of but because of our differences. We strive for excellence as scholars, as scientists, as teachers, and as members of our communities, which include our lab group, our department, our university, our fields of study, our scientific societies, and our city, Charlottesville, VA. We can achieve excellence only by including, listening to, and advocating for individuals representing a diversity of races, ethnicities, educational and socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, religious beliefs, and immigration experiences.
We recognize the deep-seated inequity of our society, of academia, and of science and the perpetuation of systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, ableism, and other exclusionary, discriminatory, and hateful practices that have made academia and science inaccessible, hostile, and unsafe for many. We understand that responsibility for change lies with all of us. We commit to effecting change by:
- Informing our actions by educating ourselves on systemic exclusion and oppression in our communities
- Investing in recruiting and mentoring trainees from marginalized groups
- Improving our work environment to remove barriers and accommodate every person
- Reserving time for discussing concerns about inclusivity and safety and rewarding openness with appropriate reforms
- Defending the expansion of “excellence” to include skills, efforts, and experiences that have been historically undervalued and discouraged
- Making thoughtful, equitable decisions about who we choose to work with, invite, nominate, and cite
- Seeking opportunities to acknowledge the historical context of our field (the good and the ugly) and to teach marginalized perspectives in the classroom
- Actively contributing to increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in our department
- Addressing actions or words that do not uphold our lab values and supporting one another in working towards our goals as a lab
~ The Gibson Lab, 1/1/2021 This is a living outline of our values and guidelines. We will revisit it annually to determine if we’re acting in a manner that prioritizes our values and revise it to reflect changes in our community.
The pledge: “[This poster is] meant to show that racial justice and support for marginalized communities cannot be separated from the practice of science. We must actively work to recognize the obstacles that scientists (and potential scientists) from marginalized communities face, and dismantle structures of power that prevent them from succeeding. We must also consider the effects of our research and research choices on marginalized communities.”