Greenlight: June 16, 2023
Projected Completion: Winter 2023
To increase diversity in science there is an overwhelming focus on recruitment, but this must be coupled with programs to address retention—creating a welcoming environment that instills a sense of agency and belonging. As it stands, academic institutions are often toxic, white-washed, white-centered spaces that fail to understand or embrace the knowledge, values, or culture of individuals. That’s where this course comes into play. The goal is to address active toxicity, increase the understanding of the value that different cultures bring to an organization, and modify the metrics of success that we currently use—which are one-sided and rooted in what white, European society has valued for centuries. Current DEI training programs largely focus on a laundry list of “good and bad behaviors,” but this course takes a different tack: it assumes that most everyone in academia has good intentions and are just in need of an appropriate education—but it couples this learning with an environment that fosters deep emotional engagement. This, in turn, will start to change the values of individuals, organizations, and academic culture.