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Commitments by Community Members to Not Participate in Speaking Invitations Where Inclusiveness is Not Evident
Letter From UCAR President, Antonio J. Busalacchi
November 1, 2019
Recently, it was brought to my attention that Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the National Institutes of Health, put out a statement regarding the importance of ending all-male speaking panels (aka “manels”) and his decision not to accept any speaking invitation where attention to inclusiveness is not evident.
At UCAR, we have established a formal program to support and enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is real progress for our organization, and an important part of our process to be more inclusive. A significant area for us to look at is implicit bias because we know it is often the cause of exclusion of people from underrepresented groups. Since we are often not conscious of these biases, cultivating awareness of them is key to reducing their impacts be it on search committees or how we interact with colleagues.
Our commitment to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment also extends to the composition of advisory panels at NCAR and UCP. In this regard, I do know that both Everette Joseph and Bill Kuo are sensitive to the importance of having those that advise us be representative of the community we serve.
When Dr. Collins issued his powerful statement, he challenged other leaders in the biomedical enterprise to join him. Although diversity within and among meteorology, oceanography, and hydrology is different than the health sciences, I accept his challenge. As a leader of this organization I will “walk the talk” and lead by example. From this point forward, I, too, will decline to serve on any speaking panels for which attention to diversity, equity, and inclusion is not evident in the composition of the panels.
If women, people of color, and other traditionally marginalized groups are passed over for panels we lose a diverse range of perspectives. Not only that, it can do real harm to careers. Failing to provide these opportunities means women and people of color cannot demonstrate they have a national or international profile. It can lead to further disadvantages with grant applications, promotions, and ultimately to selection to important bodies such as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
It is now my turn to challenge other leaders in Earth system science to join me.
A version of this personal statement will also be posted on the UCAR web site.
Antonio J. Busalacchi
Letter From University of Colorado President, Mark Kennedy
I have long believed that life is a game of addition, not subtraction. And when that addition involves interacting with or surrounding yourself with people with different views, different backgrounds, different experiences, all the better.
Diversity is often viewed narrowly through a lens of race and ethnicity. While those are part of it, they are by no means all of it. Diversity to me is the sum of a variety of things – a person’s demographic characteristics, life and work experiences, viewpoints and interactions, among others. And what I have seen over and over – in my own upbringing, my educational experiences and my careers in business, government and academia – is that it is not only imperative to respect the dignity of each individual, but to recognize that diversity is a powerful asset, both personally and professionally.
The Wall Street Journal, in its article “The business case for more diversity,” noted that a diverse and inclusive culture in business provides a competitive edge. It leads to better products, more innovation, fresh ideas and a stronger bottom line.
My own experiences echo that. Homogeneous groups tend toward homogeneous ideas and strategies. Diverse groups challenge, question and view problems from different angles. They arrive at better outcomes.
Embracing diversity is the right thing. It’s an important aspect of everything we do at the University of Colorado. We strive to foster a learning, living and work environment that mirrors the society we serve and makes all feel safe and included. We also know that infusing diversity throughout our activities enriches the learning experience and makes our graduates better prepared to succeed in life.
That’s one of the reasons we recently elevated our strategic plan’s diversity working group to be the plan’s fourth pillar. Our original thinking was that diversity must be part and parcel of each of the areas we identified as focuses of planning. It needs to be. But after broad input from the university community, we agreed that it also is appropriately recognized as a pillar.
Anything judged important should be measured. Our diversity engagement survey in the field now with students, faculty and staff across our four campuses will guide our action. It will give us insight into the climate and culture on our campuses, and identify areas where we can improve.
Incidents, such as the recent racist incident on our Boulder campus, remind us that there is always work to be done in this area, and that diversity must be a constant focus. It is important for all of us to build on the work of generations before us to embrace diversity and to achieve a more inclusive environment.
All the best,
Mark Kennedy President
SCinet Chair for SC2024
We are incredibly excited to share that Angie Asmus, from Colorado State University (CSU), has been selected as SCinet chair for SC24. Phil Roth (ORNL) will be the general chair. Angie was selected as a WINS Participant in our second class in 2016. WINS partially funded Angie to return to SC17 and that investment has shown fabulous results. Since her initial WINS experience, Angie has taken on increasingly larger leadership roles on the SCinet Edge Team, serving as the SC18 Deputy Chair, and the Team Lead in SC19 through SC22. Additionally, she participated in a panel style presentation at the Internet2 2019 Technology Exchange to share her experience "Helping Build a 4+ Terabit/Second Network in One Week." Angie has also grown in her professional career at CSU, and was recently promoted to the Manager of Network & Security Operations.
Angie is only the fourth woman appointed as the SCinet chair since its inception in 1996. This is a great attestation of the success of the WINS program. The WINS management team would like to express our appreciation for your continued support of this program, which is changing many of our participants' lives.
New Co-Chairs Selected for Internet2 Inclusivity Initiative Steering Committee
By Amber Rasche, Senior Communications Specialist
Internet2 welcomes Sarvani Chadalapaka, director of Cyberinfrastructure and Research Technologies (CIRT) at the University of California Merced, and Deidre Mitchell, enterprise information security engineer at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, as the new co-chairs of the Internet2 Inclusivity Initiative (I2I) Steering Committee.
Understanding that diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI) are essential for a robust and thriving global research and education community, the I2I Steering Committee works with Internet2 staff on resources, projects, and programming opportunities that support DEI across the Internet2 community.
I2I is part of Internet2’s larger commitment to promoting a culture that includes, encourages, supports, and celebrates diverse voices and reflects the communities we serve. Learn more about the initiative, its priorities, community collaborations, and available resources here.
Sarvani and Deidre are past recipients of the I2I Scholarship Award and have served on the I2I Steering Committee since 2019. They have been appointed to serve as co-chairs starting in January 2022.
“I would like to continue the Internet2 Inclusivity program legacy of providing resources to improve diversity and inclusion in the community of networking and technical professionals,” Sarvani said. “I am excited to be working alongside my co-chair, Deidre Mitchell, in these efforts.”
“I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to work with Sarvani as I2I Steering Committee co-chair,” Deidre said. “I look forward to the collaborative endeavors we will encounter as we strengthen the diversity, equity, and inclusion landscape within the Internet2 community.”
Internet2 and the I2I Steering Committee would also like to thank outgoing committee co-chairs Laurie Burns-McRobbie, first lady emerita of Indiana University, and Marla Meehl, manager of network engineering and telecommunications services at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and manager of the Front Range GigaPoP, for their many contributions to I2I.
“Laurie and Marla have been deeply supportive of I2I since its inception in 2014,” said Ana Hunsinger, vice president of community engagement at Internet2. “Under their guidance as co-chairs, the I2I Steering Committee has facilitated many critical conversations to strengthen DEI in our community and has supported 41 early-career women professionals in the fields of networking and IT through professional development and mentorship opportunities afforded by the I2I Scholarship program.”
We are excited to share with you a few mentoring and career development opportunities.