Our 2020 webinar series continues with “Moving Beyond Good Intentions: Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Community through Commitment and Action,” happening Thursday, October 22, at 11 am EDT. Registration for the event remains open with a discount available for SSP members.
Webinar organizer Randy Townsend, Director of Publications Operations with the American Geophysical Union, took the time to answer a few questions about the upcoming webinar:
Who is the intended audience for this webinar and why should they attend?
Many organizations have agreed about the importance of diversity and affirmed their commitment to equity and inclusion, but aren’t sure about how to make progress in these areas. Also, the path to becoming an ally is a personal journey, and people are at varying stages of this journey. This webinar is designed for representatives of these organizations and for these individuals.
Why is this topic important and timely? Is there a particular aspect of this topic that is noteworthy?
Police brutality and systemic racism have removed the ambiguities of inequity from those that may not have been aware and have sparked introspection and reflection across multiple levels. Threats to initiatives designed to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion have already demonstrated their intent to have this moment pass without any progress. It is critical that sincere commitment to DE&I is guided by impactful measures that create diverse professional cultures and embrace and support a variety of voices before the moment does pass and nothing has changed.
What do the selected speakers bring to the discussion?
Dr. Vernon R. Morris is Director of the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences within the New College at Arizona State University. Dr. Morris recently initiated “No Time for Silence”; a call to action for leaders in the geosciences community that recommends specific changes that will help create an anti-racist scientific community.
Dr. Lisa D. White is Director of Education at the Museum of Paleontology at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. White has extensive experience with science education programs for underrepresented students and she is active in efforts to increase diversity in the geosciences. Dr. White works to create a culture that embraces diversity and respect in the advancement of Earth and space sciences, and helps AGU become a model organization for inclusive practices.
Lisa and Vernon bring demonstrated leadership, experience, creativity, and fun to the discussion.
What do you hope attendees will take away from the webinar?
I’m looking forward to hearing what steps have been successful, what lessons have been learned, and opportunities for collaborations. I hope attendees will be inspired by this webinar and can return to their organizations with ideas and approaches to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
This webinar is exactly what organizations and individuals need to hear, and Lisa and Vernon will take you along a journey of purpose and fulfillment that aims to improve diversity and inclusion.
News contribution by SSP member, Nicola Poser. Nicola is Director of Marketing And Sales at the American Mathematical Society.