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In 2021, ESAL looked inward to assess how our organization was addressing matters of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI). The assessment was informed by perspectives from active ESAL volunteers and provided the foundation for an organizational JEDI statement and JEDI commitments that ESAL evaluates annually. In 2022, ESAL reported on progress to center JEDI in how we form partnerships, programs, create content, assess organizational diversity, and foreground intersections between Indigenous peoples and U.S. STEM networks. This year’s update shows an increase in programming that incorporates or centers JEDI, especially in regard to Indigenous peoples, within the work of people with STEM backgrounds and an increase in ESAL issue-focused content that uses a JEDI lens.
- Proactively conduct outreach and seek partnership opportunities with scientific societies and organizations for groups that have been historically marginalized in STEM.
- Over the past year, ESAL has participated in five sessions at conferences and annual meetings held by societies and organizations for groups that have been historically marginalized in STEM:
- National Society of Black Engineers Professional Development Conference, “Skills for Local Engagement: Engineering Change in Your Community” (August 13, 2022)
- Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals National Tribal & Indigenous Climate Conference, “Building Local Science and Indigenous Community Partnerships for Clean Energy” (August 29, 2022)
- Society of Women Engineers Annual Conference, “Engineering a Better Community: Civic Engagement Close to Home” (October 21, 2022)
- Society of Women Engineers Annual Conference, “Full STE(A)M Ahead: Into Public Office” (October 22, 2022)
- Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Diversity in STEM Conference, “Speaking Up for Science and Policy in Your Community” (Session organized with the Union of Concerned Scientists; October 29, 2022)
- ESAL partnered with Until Justice Data Partners to host a panel about community science efforts entitled, “Science for the People: Empowering Communities to Leverage Science and Engineers to Address Local Issues.”
- In 2023, ESAL continues to seek opportunities to participate in events and work with organizations that serve and represent groups that have been historically marginalized in STEM.
- Incorporate discussion of JEDI issues in STEM into all of ESAL’s programming.
- ESAL ensured all events included a diverse group of speakers and panelists with a broad spectrum of perspectives and experiences in STEM and related issues. In addition, most of our events in 2022 included a discussion of JEDI in STEM:
- In 2023, ESAL will ensure that our events each includes a discussion about how issues of JEDI intersect with the issues being discussed.
- Continue to use a JEDI lens for our issue-focused programming and content.
- ESAL developed new, publicly-accessible workshops to make it easier for a diversity of engineers and scientists to learn how to engage in local policy making processes. The first one, “Accelerate Your Advocacy: Delivering Public Comments,” was hosted on October 27, 2022. ESAL continues to offer these open workshops in 2023.
- ESAL continues to incorporate JEDI-related case studies into most of our workshops and conference sessions.
- In 2023, we are planning several events and developing content that frame topics in JEDI .
- Conduct a quantitative internal review of ESAL’s organizational diversity.
- In 2021, ESAL completed an internal review of the organizational diversity, and ESAL’s Steering Committee has engaged in discussions about how the results should inform our volunteer recruiting efforts. Due to the size of our organization, we have not released the results publicly to protect our volunteers’ privacy.
- In 2023, ESAL will continue to track and adjust our internal practices to increase our organizational diversity.
- Through our programming and content, highlight the historical and current intersections between Indigenous people and the mainstream U.S. STEM community, without shying away from controversy, particularly with respect to local ecosystem and land rights issues.
- In 2023, ESAL will continue to track and improve how we foreground Indigenous people in our programming and content.
ESAL’s pursuit of these commitments requires intentionality and focus, as well as feedback, reflection, partnerships, and outreach. We want to hear from you if you want to partner, have conference or workshop opportunities, know people who should be featured in ESAL publications, and have topics you want ESAL to highlight. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to grow in this work together.
Engineers & Scientists Acting Locally (ESAL) is a non-advocacy, non-political organization. The information in this post is for general informational purposes and does not imply an endorsement by ESAL for any political candidates, businesses, or organizations mentioned herein.