Capps Lab Diversity and Inclusion Materials
I have created a reading, listening, watching list for people joining our lab to support our efforts to celebrate difference and recognize racism. I would like all team members to read, listen, and watch these documents and we will discuss them during some of our first weekly meetings after you join our team. The materials included in this document provide some readings about gender, sexuality, and identity, information about religious diversity, and more information about racism, especially anti-Blackness. I acknowledge that this material does not reflect all diversity, and I encourage you to participate in additional training opportunities that are offered through the university and elsewhere. However, I also think that by reading and reflecting on these materials, the lessons learned may also support a greater understanding of ourselves and others. If you find new resources that you would like to share, I would appreciate it if you would share them with me.
Please note, moving through these materials will take hours, not minutes, so please make sure to begin this process well in advance of the scheduled meeting. The purpose of this activity is to promote a supportive culture that celebrates diversity, and recognizes that we are all differently shaped by our experiences and our identities.
Relevant Excerpts from Capps Lab Statement of Culture
We celebrate difference. For us, this translates to an active curiosity about one another, valuing each other’s personal backgrounds and stories. We acknowledge and value all identities and the intersections of race/ethnicity, gender identity and expression, class, sexual orientation, ability, age, nationality and national origin, and religion/spirituality. Included in this is an awareness and acknowledgement that each member of our research group overcame obstacles of different shapes and magnitudes in order to be here, and that this continues to be true in our current efforts. We realize that working towards equity in our research group means being attuned to the different experiences of individuals and working to transform the power relations that lead to unevenness in opportunities and resources. We will work to address this unevenness and work towards equity by listening for and identifying moments of bias, oppression, and other subconscious, identity-based assumptions and ideas during fieldwork, in our offices, and within our research group as a whole. We will lift each other up and work to break down barriers to each other’s success.
We recognize racism, particularly anti-Blackness, has been at the foundation of the scientific enterprise. As a research group, we work in communities of color, and take seriously the subject matter that we study, our positions as settlers on lands taken from the Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee, East), S’atsoyaha (Yuchi), and Mvskoke (Muscogee/Creek) lands (of northeast Georgia), and the troubling colonial history of our scholarly fields (e.g., fisheries, conservation ecology) in the US and abroad. As a lab, we are committed to doing the work to make our learning environments and research community more supportive of Black people and non-Black people of color. We will use our privilege to bolster minoritized voices in our communities and speak against acts of racism. We will advocate for and support anti-racist initiatives within our department, university, and scientific community. We will encourage, incentivize, and recognize learning and training around systemic racism, colonialism, and other forms of oppression, and will use time in our lab meetings each semester to discuss and reflect upon racism and antiracism in STEM. We embrace that this will be an uncomfortable process as we navigate, challenge, and reflect upon the structures of oppression that many of us admittedly benefit from, making mistakes along the way, and holding ourselves and each other accountable. We will do our best to be self-reflective and patient with ourselves and with others through this process, understanding that our community is engaging in something difficult, but essential.
Discussing Challenging Topics, Intersectionality, and Allyship
- Facilitating Discussions: https://www.ucar.edu/who-we-are/diversity-inclusion/community-resources/ground-rules-tools
- Facilitating Discussions II: http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2015/04/i-was-wrong-and-i-am-sorry.html
- Antiracism Books are not Means to and End: https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/07/your-anti-racism-books-are-means-not-end/614281/
- Kimberlé Crenshaw and Intersectionality The 2020 MAKERS Conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSTf89pLcl0
A Safe Zone Project Course
“The Safe Zone Project (SZP) is a free online resource providing curricula, activities, and other resources for educators facilitating Safe Zone trainings (sexuality, gender, and LGBTQ+ education sessions), and learners who are hoping to explore these concepts on their own. Co-created by Meg Bolger and Sam Killermann in 2013, the SZP has become the go-to resource for anyone looking to add some Safe Zone to their life.” I have attached information from the Safe Zone Project to this document for your review, but please feel free to continue your training through their website.
Please note: The materials from “A Safe Zone Project” that I have included were created to support people facilitating training for groups of people. If you would prefer to access the self-directed course materials, you can click on the last link and search for these lessons. Otherwise, please just review these documents and reflect on their content.
Reading and activity list:
- Genderbred Person: https://thesafezoneproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Genderbread-Person-1.pdf
- Vocabulary Handout: https://thesafezoneproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Core-Vocabulary-Do_Don%E2%80%99t-Handout.pdf
- LGBTQ Umbrella: https://thesafezoneproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/LGBTQ-Umbrella.pdf
- Privilege for Sale and Coming out: https://thesafezoneproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Privilege-for-Sale-Coming-Out.pdf
- If you would like to participate in additional, self-guided training, you can access the materials using the following link: https://thesafezoneproject.com/resources/courses/self-guided-foundational-safe-zone-training/
Religion and STEM & Religious Diversity
- Inclusivity means including religious people “If we’re aiming to build a genuinely diverse and inclusive scientific community, that means that we need to accept religious scientists as a part of Team Science.” https://smallpondscience.com/2020/10/13/inclusivity-means-including-religious-people/
- Using Religious Cultural Competence to Talk to Students and the Public about Evolution “Over thirty years of education research has revealed how to effectively communicate evolution to religious individuals. If I could boil down that research into one sentence it would be this: Highlighting potential compatibility between religion and evolution and de-emphasizing conflict is the best way to increase acceptance of evolution. Here are concrete steps, backed by research literature, for how to have productive discussions about religion and evolution both in the classroom and with the public.” https://smallpondscience.com/2020/10/14/using-religious-cultural-competence-to-talk-to-students-and-the-public-about-evolution/
- Barnes, M. E., Truong, J. M., Grunspan, D. Z., & Brownell, S. E. (2020). Are scientists biased against Christians? Exploring real and perceived bias against Christians in academic biology. PloS one, 15(1), e0226826. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0226826&type=printable
Some additional research exploring intersections between science and religion (there are many others, but this is the author that wrote the blog included in the reading):
- Barnes, M. E., & Brownell, S. E. (2016). Practices and perspectives of college instructors on addressing religious beliefs when teaching evolution. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 15(2), ar18. https://www.lifescied.org/doi/full/10.1187/cbe.15-11-0243
- Barnes, M. E., & Brownell, S. E. (2017). A call to use cultural competence when teaching evolution to religious college students: introducing Religious Cultural Competence in Evolution Education (ReCCEE). CBE—Life Sciences Education, 16(4), es4. https://www.lifescied.org/doi/full/10.1187/cbe.17-04-0062
Racism and Antiracism in STEM
- Code-Switching Is Not Trying to Fit in to White Culture, It’s Surviving It: https://www.yesmagazine.org/opinion/2019/12/17/culture-code-switching/
- Black in the Ivory: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EmZkzXupr6hukZKIOTUiJ6fKgZnlUxka/view?usp=sharing
- An open letter to the EEB community _ by Solo North _ Medium: https://medium.com/@solonorthrowan/an-open-letter-to-the-eeb-community-7bd89330e554;
- Too many senior white academics still resist recognizing racism: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02203-w
- What Black scientists want from colleagues and their institutions: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01883-8
- Recreating Wakanda by promoting Black excellence in ecology and evolution: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-020-1266-7
- Safe fieldwork strategies for at-risk individuals, their supervisors and institutions: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-020-01328-5
- Advice to White allies: insights from faculty of Color: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265389887_Advice_to_White_allies_insights_from_faculty_of_Color
Watch and Listen:
- Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable: https://www.ted.com/talks/luvvie_ajayi_get_comfortable_with_being_uncomfortable?language=en
- The Difference between Being a Racist and Antiracist: https://www.ted.com/talks/ibram_x_kendi_the_difference_between_being_not_racist_and_antiracist
- White Fragility: http://laylafsaad.com/good-ancestor-podcast/ep011-robin-diangelo
- The power of privilege: Tiffany Jana at TEDxRVAWomen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0acvkHIiZs
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: https://www.thediversitygap.com/podcast-1
- Allyship: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/beyond-allyship/id1506647081?i=1000476376158
- How to Be the Change You Want to See at Work: https://www.thediversitygap.com/podcast-1
- The New Jim Crow: https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/529137/environmental-racism-is-the-new-jim-crow/