EIC is a monthly event series open to all members of the CU physics community. Each event is a 90-minute guided discussion over coffee and cookies about issues relating to equity and inclusion in physics. You can find a schedule of this semester's events here.
The notion of meritocracy—that success is purely a result of hard work and talent—is embedded in our society. For example, the American dream envisions a society where upward social mobility is a result of hard work, e.g., “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps”. Yet reality suggests that many factors other than hard work and talent contribute to success (or lack thereof). In this event, we will consider the extent to which a meritocracy is an accurate description of our department, university, and the broader education system, and examine the consequences of assuming we work in a perfect meritocracy. We will reflect on how this impacts our roles in the physics department, and, since the assumption of a perfect meritocracy may be flawed, discuss adjustments we can make to improve the systems in which we work and live.
Mission & Principles
The Equity, Inclusion, and Cookies (EIC) event series serves as a mechanism for providing all members of the CU physics department with increased awareness of, education about, and community support around issues of equity and inclusion. The organizers of EIC base their work on the following principles:
Issues of equity and inclusion are relevant to all members of the physics department.
- For those in minority groups, these issues matter because they negatively impact their experiences in physics, sometimes significantly.
- For those in majority groups, these issues matter because those in the majority are best positioned to promote change that improves equity and inclusion, which ultimately benefits everyone.
Learning about equity and inclusion is multifaceted, involving
- the research on equity and inclusion,
- the lived experiences of people from groups of which we are not a part,
- the ways in which inequity and exclusion impact us and our department, and
- the ways in which we can work together to effect change.
There is no such thing as passive equity or passive inclusivity. If we do not intentionally work to make ourselves and our institutions equitable and inclusive, then we will remain inequitable and exclusive.
Talking about equity and inclusion is difficult work that can be threatening and risky, especially for people from minority groups. Therefore, this work must happen in an environment that supports the wellbeing of its participants, particularly those from minority groups, so that everyone has the opportunity to learn and grow.