UA / BU AGREED– Allies for Gender/Sexuality, Racial & Ethnic Equality & Diversity
Modeled after a program Diane co-developed at UCAR/NCAR, we are developing a group to facilitate diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM at BU, which we have tentatively coined BU AGREED– Allies for Gender/Sexuality, Racial & Ethnic Equality & Diversity.
The group will be modeled as a community of practice, where faculty, staff and students will meet to discuss the science behind barriers limiting diversity in STEM (e.g., unconscious bias, privilege, intersectionality, gender and sexuality, etc.) and discuss specific solutions/recommendations for lowering these barriers. In each session, participants will read and discuss articles and participate in hands-on activities on each topic facilitated by the “lead learners”. The program may consist of 4 sessions over the course of a semester (Introduction, Gender & Sexuality, Race & Ethnicity, Bystander Intervention Training).
The aim of this community is to create a group of diversity practitioners (or allies) to help promote a diverse and equitable culture at our institution and beyond. The effectiveness of this program in increasing awareness and facilitating intervention in problematic situations will be assessed through pre- and post-participation surveys (developed in conjunction with UCAR/NCAR partners and our institutions’ assessment offices). The surveys will assess attitudes towards diversity, comfort level in talking about issues surrounding diversity and intervening in problematic situations, and general knowledge of topics surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion. The results can be compared across institutions to assess and improve the effectiveness of these programs and provide evidence-based recommendations for extending such programs to additional institutions or programs. Initial survey results from the UCAR/NCAR program (now in its third cohort of diversity practitioners) suggest that the program increased participants’ positive associations/perceptions about diversity and increased their confidence as a bystander and their likelihood to intervene in problematic situations.