Virginia Tech BEAM Department
Diversity Equity and Inclusion
Building an anti-racist lab
The fight against racism and bias begins at home, in our laboratories and shared spaces. To enact change, we must learn and discuss how we can create a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere. To do this, we must not just be "not racist" but we must be actively anti-racist, promoting policies and identifying issues where they reside. In this article, the authors describe ten rules for building anti-racist cultures within laboratory spaces. Many of these rules translate to the classroom and daily life.
Facilitator: Jenny Munon
Article for discussion: Chaudhary, Berhe, "Ten simple rules for building an anti-racist lab" Pre-print.
Other reading: The authors discuss why they wrote this article
The language we choose to use can have profound and lasting impacts on an individual's sense of belonging, inclusion, and self-efficacy within the workplace. Microaggressions are defined as brief, sometimes subtle, interactions that can disparage individuals based on their group or perceived group identity. These small statements negatively impact those individuals from historically minoritized groups in the STEM fields and in academia in general. Here we will discuss this negative impact and promote awareness of language choice in our community.
Facilitator: Hana Chan, Graduate Student, BEAM/SBES
Article for discussion (click to access): Harrison, Tanner, "Language Matters: Considering Microaggressions in Science" (2018) Life Sciences Education
International student experience
To travel away from one's home country to pursue education or further opportunity can be a difficult undertaking. Recent policy enforcement changes and national dialogue has negatively impacted our international and immigrant populations are furthering to create an unwelcome atmosphere. Within our department, we can enact changes to better welcome, support and understand our international student, faculty, and staff communities so that they can excel within their fields of study. Here we will discuss how academia
Article for discussion: Wu, Garza, Guzman "International Student's Challenge and Adjustment to College" Education Research International 2015
First Gen in STEM
Being the first in your family to go to college or graduate school can be challenging for a number of reasons. We will discuss challenges faced by first-gen students to gain an appreciation for the difficulties that come with navigating the unknowns of research, mentoring, networking, and coursework.
Facilitator: Amanda Covey and Cora Esparza
Articles for discussion: Bailey Smolarek "The hidden challenges for successful first-generation Ph.D.s"
On mentoring first generation graduate students and graduate students of color