Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Wellesley College Geosciences department recognizes the historic lack of diversity in the Geosciences, and STEM fields in general, and understands that diverse perspectives enhance our research, teaching and overall community. As such, we are committed to doing our part to redress these issues. We are committed to cultivating and promoting an environment in which all individuals feel respected and valued, as well as emotionally, mentally and physically safe.
Below are our explicit departmental goals along with immediate action items to help address these goals. We wish to emphasize that this is a living document, and is merely a starting point for what we hope is an ongoing dialogue between everyone in our department.
Goals We Aspire to Meet:
- Actively foster a welcoming and inclusive departmental climate for all students, faculty and staff.
- Ensure that students have equal access to vital resources and experience to improve the probability of success.
- Contribute to increasing the percentage of students from underrepresented backgrounds in the Geoscience professions.
Actions We Plan to Take:
Foster a sense of belonging, by helping all students to see themselves as geoscientists and as members of the geoscience community. This includes highlighting the contributions of people of color when discussing the history of our science, inviting BIPOC speakers, as well as nurturing a culture of mutual support and respect.
Develop coursework and provide research experiences that are equally accessible to all students.
We believe in and value the continuing need for professional development for all members of the community to raise awareness of implicit bias, micro aggression, and otherness. All our staff will seek training and professional opportunities to increase their competencies in these essential aspects of our community.
Connect our science in the classroom to real-world benefits for the communities of people of color, which includes a discussion of how a broad range of career options (including and especially non-academic careers) can have this effect.
Provide funding for students engaged in senior/capstone research projects to attend conferences to present their work.
Implement the Social Justice Syllabus Design Tool to revamp our syllabi to reflect a social justice focused pedagogy.
The fight for equality is an ongoing struggle, and one that will require work and commitment from every member of our community. The department understands the need to actively listen and learn from our BIPOC students, faculty, and staff and we are committed to growing in our roles as allies. Consequently, this statement is a living document and open to revision and suggestions from the wider Wellesley College community. If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact the department chair.