The UVa Biology Department, and specifically the chair of the department with the agreement of faculty, should consider the creation of a standing “Post-Doc Program Committee” that could comprise two faculty members, three or more post-doctoral trainees, and one graduate student (see Top Down Initiative: Representation on Committees). A new post-doc program committee could focus efforts towards building a more diverse and supportive community for post-doctoral trainees within the biology department. The committee could be tasked with developing a “post-doctoral trainee handbook” that would include all policies, programs, and additional access to documentation. These policies and opportunities should be evaluated during drafting using the “Policy Equity Guide” provided by UVa Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (also attached below). The committee could also serve to develop additional programs and opportunities for increasing transparency, inclusivity, equity, and a general feeling of community amongst post-docs.
Initiatives for Inclusion and Equity
Our lab is deeply committed to fighting systemic injustice and biases against race, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, religion, and experience in our laboratory, department, institution, social community, and community at large.
Science as an institution was founded on structural and institutional racism, inequality, and exploitation, much of which still persists today. We passionately believe that diversity, inclusion, and equity in the workplace and community at large stimulates creativity, innovation, engagement, and success.
We pledge be anti-racist, anti-sexist, and pro-LGBTQ+, and anti-discrimination. We will do so by actively standing up against forms of injustice and intolerance including, but not limited to, statements and acts of overt racism, sexism, and other prejudices; language and action rooted in innate biases; and suggestions of othering, tone-policing, reverse racism or sexism, discursive racism or sexism, and privilege.
We pledge to continue educating our social and workplace communities on the crucial need to acknowledge and understand the difference between ideals or goals for a more just society and the actions that lead to true inclusion and respect for diversity.
We will continue to devote ourselves to identifying and executing structural and institutional solutions that will provide equal access to tools and opportunities for people of all races, genders, religion, and experiences.
We will remain humbly committed to increasing our tolerance for feedback by not being afraid to ask questions or to receive feedback, by evaluating our reactions to feedback, and by accepting the discomfort of giving and receiving "call outs" for the benefit of learning.