The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience recognizes that academic excellence is achieved only by fostering a diverse community that provides equitable opportunities for all students, staff, and faculty. We are excited to launch the CARE Initiative that is being led by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee comprised of departmental students and faculty. This initiative is rooted in the desire to be intentional, strategic, and transparent in our efforts to create and sustain an academic and social environment that welcomes everyone and values their differences.
Community: We are striving to provide a community where people feel welcome, empowered, and free from obstacles that may limit their academic experience. This work includes action towards support and dialogue in our community. We will increase our efforts to support and retain existing faculty and students by implementing structural changes in the equitable distribution of resources and by emphasizing the values of diverse research programs, approaches, and service commitments. We are working to establish tools that will allow for reporting of individual concerns and evaluation of our ongoing efforts to develop an inclusive departmental community. We will ensure that departmental planning and decisions are empowering and inclusive of diverse perspectives and minority voices. We will also develop a more thoughtful consideration of our colloquium speakers to ensure that we are modeling and supporting individuals from diverse backgrounds and those with diverse perspectives. Finally, in an effort to support and promote our students beyond their time in our academic programs, we plan to establish an alumni network that will serve to build durable belongingness within our community.
Anti-racism and Opening Our Perspectives: We commit to anti-racism in our teaching, scientific work, and continued learning. We recognize the importance of equipping ourselves with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage with the ever-changing world around us. We will identify programs that will allow our students, staff, and faculty to learn about how inclusivity, diversity, and equity benefit our community, and how white supremacy and other power systems of oppression degrade our community. We will also educate our community on the impact that systemic racism, microaggressions, and implicit biases have on our community. We will also provide opportunities for our community to learn to intervene as a bystander, de-escalate discriminatory and harassing situations, and manage difficult conversations on inclusiveness and diversity.
Representation: We are committed to broadening our departmental representation. We will strive to achieve better representation by establishing a more direct and strategic effort to reach and recruit faculty and students of diverse and underserved backgrounds. We plan to create outreach efforts to identify and recruit individuals currently underrepresented in our departmental community. We are also working to recognize and remove barriers in academic programs that limit our success in attracting underserved students.
Educating Through Inclusive Practices: We have a critical responsibility as educators to provide a learning environment that is welcoming and inclusive to all students seeking academic advancement. A key and immediate area of improvement is to expand representation and inclusion in our curriculum. We will work to develop inclusive classrooms by encouraging our faculty to reference materials that highlight diverse perspectives and clearly state the inclusive values and practices in course materials. We will also seek to remove barriers in our curriculum that may be unwelcoming to and dissuade underserved students from participating in our programs. Ongoing curriculum assessments will be conducted to identify courses related to diversity and inclusion and incentivize the modification of existing courses or the creation of new courses that support diverse perspectives.