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Last year I shared ESAL’s efforts to foster Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) through our work. While considerations of these topics have always informed our work, we decided that we needed to take a more intentional approach. To that end, we developed a statement that summarized our commitment to JEDI and also laid out several efforts ESAL would undertake. I’m pleased to share an update on the progress we made in 2021.
- 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:
- Tribal Lands and Environment Forum, hosted by the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professional - “Indigenous Communities Engaging in Local Science and Environmental Policy” (ESAL-led panel discussion, August 18, 2021)
- Reclaiming STEM Workshop, “Policy is personal: Engaging in your local community” (ESAL-organized session, August 28, 2021)
- Inclusive SciComm Symposium, “Scientists as Civic Participants: Equity Through Local Engagement” (ESAL-organized session, October 14, 2021)
- Society of Women Engineers Annual Conference, “Full STE(A)M Ahead Into Public Office!” (Session organized by 314 Action, October 21, 2021)
- Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Diversity in STEM Conference, “Getting started in science policy as a early career scientist” (Session organized with the Union of Concerned Scientists and Journal of Science Policy & Governance, October 25, 2021)
- In 2022, we continue 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 sought to ensure all of our events included a diverse group of speakers and panelists with a broad spectrum of perspectives and experiences in STEM and related issues. In addition, several of our events in 2021 directly address questions of JEDI in STEM:
- In 2022, we will ensure that each ESAL event includes a question about how issues of JEDI intersect with the issues being discussed.
- Continue to use a JEDI lens for our issue-focused programming and content.
- In 2022, we are planning several events and developing content that frame issues in terms of JEDI.
- Conduct a quantitative internal review of ESAL’s organizational diversity.
- We completed an internal review of ESAL’s 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 2022, we will continue to examine how best to ensure that ESAL’s volunteers and leaders come from a diversity of perspectives and experiences.
- 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.
- As noted above, ESAL led a session at the 2021 Tribal Lands and Environment Forum.
- In 2022, we are planning a series of events highlighting Indigenous scientists and issues that disproportionately impact Indigenous communities.
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.