Ongoing work on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Black Lives Matter

As a lab we are deeply disturbed by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and many more. Recent events throughout the US underscore the systemic racism that permeates every level of our society, as we have observed through inequality in the criminal justice system, over-policing, and voter suppression. We acknowledge that systemic racism is not only propagated by American policy, but is pervasive within our own academic environment and community. Inequitable policy, harassment, and discrimination within academia create significant barriers for trainees from Black and marginalized communities to succeed and progress through undergraduate and graduate programs, postdoctoral research, and into faculty or professional careers. We condemn the systemic and individual factors that drive racism and hurt members of our community on a daily basis. We are committed to actively addressing these problems, and recognize that this change begins with ourselves and our own actions.

We are committed to addressing systemic racism in our own lab, at UCSF, and within our broader community. We recognize that racial inequity will not be solved overnight, and commit ourselves to the long-term work that is required to dismantle racism. To this end, we strive to educate ourselves more completely and take actionable steps to change our culture. In the spirit of an open culture and creating a system of accountability, our lab has made the following changes:

  1. We created a lab code of conduct that reaffirms our core values to create an equitable and inclusive environment and outlines our zero-tolerance policy for harassment.

  2. We formalized a 15-minute diversity, equity, and inclusion awareness section of every group meeting led by lab members to promote awareness and education on a broad range of topics. Presentations in the last two months included identifying and responding to microaggressions, supporting international students, addressing local needs in education and hunger, and outreach programs for underrepresented high school students.

  3. We added a weekly hour-long lab-wide meeting on diversity, equity, and inclusion to facilitate education, discussion, planning, and follow-through of our own efforts. So far, these have included in-depth discussions on counteracting white supremacy culture in academia, building an inclusive and supportive lab culture for trainees, and collectively drafting a laboratory compact.

  4. Our lab is reevaluating our policies on internships, hiring, and mentoring to ensure that candidates are evaluated equitably and lab members of all backgrounds are set up for success.

We have engaged in a conscientious shift toward normalizing discussions on inequity and race, both as part of these regular meetings and daily conversation. This is only a start. We will continue to learn and understand for ourselves our impact and responsibility. We are committed to making a positive impact and learning continually; to this end we’ve created this Diversity, Equity and Inclusion portion of our website as a space for members of our lab to update and document our efforts, and as means to hold ourselves accountable to ourselves and to the public.

We are learning and actively trying to change the culture of our lab, of UCSF, and of our community. We recognize that along the way, we will make mistakes; we value feedback on ways to grow. Please let us know (via anonymous survey) how we are doing and what more we can do to advance this mission.

News and posts

Black Lives Matter

1 minute read

As a lab we are deeply disturbed by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and many more. Recent events throughout the US ...