Diversity Statement & Resources
Empowering Women in Science Diversity Statement
Empowering Women in Science (EWIS) members include a variety of working professionals including staff, postdoctoral fellows and associates, graduate scientists, undergraduate students and faculty at the University of Minnesota. EWIS was created to highlight the work of women scientists, as women are still professionally underrepresented and face significant challenges at the highest professional levels. Founders and the first steering committee members were from the Center for Immunology (CFI) within the University of Minnesota. Currently, EWIS steering committee members represent a diverse group of women and underrepresented minority members of departments within the University of Minnesota such as the CFI; Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development; the Cancer Center; Pediatrics; Health; Neurosciences; Psychology; College of Veterinary Medicine; College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences; College of Science and Engineering; Center for Autoimmune Diseases Research; Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and BioTechnology Institute; Department of Physiology and Integrative Biology; Brain Tumor Program, and the Department of Biological Sciences Duluth.
As scientists, we strive to be impartial in our work and in our assessment of the work of our peers and colleagues. However, we are also people who live in a white-privileged society that prioritizes the needs, goals, and safety of white people over people of color, particularly Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC). The academic system in which we function is not immune to this societal structure; indeed, academia’s historical roots and present functioning clearly prioritize the success of white scientists over non-white scientists. The scientific questions we ask, how we answer them, and which groups in society benefit from those answers are all reflective of the inequality present in our scientific enterprise, as well as our wider world. Indeed, the very buildings in which we conduct our research are built on land stolen from the Daḳota people in 1805.
At EWIS, we seek to recognize and dismantle the deep inequalities inherent in academia, which are particularly harmful for BIPOC. As a group seeking to support and uplift women in STEM, we particularly recognize the intersectional harms of racism and sexism for women of color in STEM, and how other identities such as religion, disability, neurodivergence, sexuality, gender identity, and class can synergistically marginalize minority groups. We encourage all of our members to consider the ways in which racism and racial biases in academic spaces have manifested in their own lives and careers, both in the form of privilege and in the form of discrimination. We provide a variety of events and resources to educate scientists and increase their awareness about the various inequalities in academia, as well as actions to combat such inequalities. Additionally, we challenge our members to be anti-racist in their actions; not just reading about inequality, but actively working to combat and dismantle it from the individual to the institutional level. EWIS will keep working hard to create a welcoming and diverse environment in science.
We have provided a reading list below for those who would like to learn more about racism in academia. As a starting point, check out Ten simple rules for building an anti-racist lab, which describes small changes all labs can make to become more anti-racist. Undoing centuries of racial inequity and discrimination in STEM is not an easy task, but it is a necessary one to create a more equitable future.
Resources to write a Diversity Statement
Carnes, M., Fine, E., & Sheridan, J. (2019). Promises and Pitfalls of Diversity Statements: Proceed With Caution. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 94(1), 20–24. https://doi.org/10.1097/ ACM.0000000000002388
Tips for Assessing Diversity Statements, Emory University.
Readings on Racism in Academia
Black scientists are exposing the racist side of academia on Twitter, by Cassie Freund
Slavery and Black History at the University of Minnesota, by Christopher Lehman
When the academy wants you to be Black, by Lauren Edward
Hitting the wall, by Prabhdeep Kehal
Tone Policing & the Sound of Equality in STEM, by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
The Rules of the Diversity and Inclusion Racket, by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
For Scientific Institutions, Racial Reconciliation Requires Reparations, by C. Brandon Ogbunu
What I Wanted When I Called for a Strike for Black Lives, by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
An open letter to the EEB community, by Solo North
Racism, Loneliness, and the Way Forward: Being #BlackinNature in 2020, by Kaylee Arnold, Alex Troutman, and Armand Cann
An Open Letter: Scientists and Racial Justice, by Joseph Graves and Erich D. Jarvis
How diversity efforts burden those who try to help, by Virginia Gewin
Diversity is a Dangerous Set-up, by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Academia Isn’t a Safe Haven for Conversations About Race and Racism, by Tsedale M. Melaku and Angie Beeman
We condemn all institutional racism except our own, by Amanda Lehr and Tatiana McInnis
Racism and Silence in EEB, by Leno Bernard Smith, Jr.
Particle physics in the wake of slavery & settler colonialism, by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Too many white senior academics still resist recognizing racism, by Namandjé Bumpus
The Long, Ugly History of Racism at American Universities, by Leslie M. Harris
Misogynoir in Medical Media: On Caster Semenya and R. Kelly, by Moya Bailey
African Americans in evolutionary science: where we have been, and what’s next, by Joseph L. Graves, Jr.
Readings on Diversity and Inclusion in Academia
Microaggressions in the learning environment: A systematic review. Ogunyemi, D., Clare, C., Astudillo, Y. M., Marseille, M., Manu, E., & Kim, S. (2020). Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 13(2), 97–119. https://doi.org/10.1037/dhe0000107
Exploring graduate students’ socialization to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Perez, R. J., Robbins, C. K., Harris, L. W., Jr., & Montgomery, C. (2020). Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 13(2), 133–145. https://doi.org/10.1037/dhe0000115
Transgender and gender-expansive students’ experiences of genderism at women’s colleges and universities. Farmer, L. B., Robbins, C. K., Keith, J. L., & Mabry, C. J. (2020). Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 13(2), 146–157. https://doi.org/10.1037/dhe0000129
Keys to academic success for under-represented minority young investigators: recommendations from the Research in Academic Pediatrics Initiative on Diversity (RAPID) National Advisory Committee. Flores G, Mendoza FS, DeBaun MR, Fuentes-Afflick E, Jones VF, Mendoza JA, Raphael JL, Wang CJ. Int J Equity Health. 2019 Jun 18;18(1):93. doi: 10.1186/s12939-019-0995-1. Review.
“Challenging diversity training myths: Changing the conversation about diversity training to shape science and practice”. Cheng, Shannon, et al. 2018. Organizational Dynamics.
“The Oxford handbook of workplace discrimination”.Colella, Adrienne, and Eden B King. 2018.
“Reactions to men’s and women’s counterproductive work behavior”. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal Morgan, Whitney Botsford, Johnathan Nelson, Eden B King, and Victor S Mancini. 2018.
“Systematic subjectivity: How subtle biases infect the scholarship review process”. King, Eden B, Derek R Avery, Mikki R Hebl, and Jose M Cortina. 2018.
“A Cross-Cultural Investigation of the Effects of Incivility on Occupational Aspirations”. ensen, Jaclyn M, Afra S Ahmad, Eden B King, and Junghyun Lee. 2016. Journal of College Student Development 57 (3):233–24
“Understanding and overcoming challenges faced by working mothers: A theoretical and empirical review”. Sabat, Isaac E, Alex P Lindsey, Eden B King, and Kristen P Jones. 2016. Pp. 9–31 in Research perspectives on work and the transition to motherhood. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-41121-7_2
"URM candidates are encouraged to apply": a national study to identify effective strategies to enhance racial and ethnic faculty diversity in academic departments of medicine. Peek ME, Kim KE, Johnson JK, Vela MB. Acad Med. 2013 Mar;88(3):405-12. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e318280d9f9.
Mentoring programs for underrepresented minority faculty in academic medical centers: a systematic review of the literature. Beech BM, Calles-Escandon J, Hairston KG, Langdon SE, Latham-Sadler BA, Bell RA. Acad Med. 2013 Apr;88(4):541-9. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31828589e3. Review.
Cultivating Diversity and Competency in STEM: Challenges and Remedies for Removing Virtual Barriers to Constructing Diverse Higher Education Communities of Success. Whittaker JA, Montgomery BL. J Undergrad Neurosci Educ. 2012 Fall;11(1):A44-5
Underrepresentation of underrepresented minorities in academic medicine: the need to enhance the pipeline and the pipe. Merchant JL, Omary MB. Gastroenterology. 2010 Jan;138(1):19-26.e1-3. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2009.11.017. Epub 2009 Nov 26.
“Wise psychological interventions to improve gender and racial equality in STEM.” Casad, B. J., Oyler, D. L., Sullivan, E. T., McClellan, E. M., Tierney, D. N., Anderson, D. A., ... & Flammang, B. J. (2018). Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 21(5), 767-787. https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430218767034