In academia, and especially STEM, we often think that our mathematical expertise and love for objective reasoning immunizes us and our work to inherent biases toward people of a different race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, or citizenship. Unfortunately, such discriminatory mindsets still exist in our profession today and negatively influence actions toward others. It is our responsibility to work toward justice for all.
Therefore, every member of the d’Arbeloff Lab commits to the following:
- Actively recruit members of underrepresented groups to join our lab, including annually sending lab members to attend at least one diversity in STEM convention, such as NSBE or SACNAS, and advertising openings on our website
- Complete anti-bias training, namely LinkedIn Learning’s “Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging for All”,* as well as MIT’s in-person training when it becomes available
- Participate in community outreach such as the Cambridge Science Festival and MIT Summer Research Program at least once per year
- Signal our support by proudly displaying Black Lives Matter and Pride signage in our lab, offices, and website
- Discuss and vote on whether to publicly endorse petitions like those of the MIT Black Graduate Student Association and the MIT MechE DEI Working Group as a lab
- Hold each other accountable to our values, including calling each other out for observed microaggressions, and be open-minded when we are made aware of our biases
As engineers, we have a responsibility to the world to design and create tools that improve life. Academia does not succeed in training enough students and hiring enough faculty from underrepresented groups, and society misses out on the unique contributions these individuals would have made. This apparent disparity in the academy is a symptom of systemic bias inside and outside of academia, and any effective solution needs to be as pervasive as the problem. However, independent action is necessary for the collective change that is due. It is therefore our responsibility to amplify underrepresented voices in STEM and accelerate our discipline’s long journey along the arc of justice.