Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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The Department of Biology recognizes that diversity in students, faculty, and staff along multiple dimensions is beneficial to both student success and to the research enterprise itself. When individuals are grouped in diverse combinations and in an environment that supports collaboration, innovation and creativity increases and problem-solving skills are enhanced. Achieving excellence through diversity alone is, however, not sufficient. In parallel, equitable and inclusive practices must be established and embraced to ensure that the environment fosters the success of diverse groups.

The Department of Biology faculty, staff, postdocs, graduate, and undergraduate students commit to:

  • Be proactive in recognizing and standing up against discrimination based on, but not limited to: race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, socioeconomic status, language, culture, national origin, age, family/caregiver status, (dis)ability, citizenship status, political ideology, or religious, non-religious, or spiritual beliefs.
  • Recognize that we all carry biases and be cognizant of how those biases influence our actions and behaviors (e.g., microaggressions). (Resources for Building Self-Awareness)
  • Train ourselves in taking action against the many forms of unconscious, implicit, and explicit bias directed at underrepresented groups.
  • Educate ourselves on the systemic barriers that underrepresented groups face; work together to dismantle those barriers and actively redress historical inequities present today.
  • Foster inclusion inside and outside of the classroom, such that all voices can be both shared and heard. (Resources for Inclusive Teaching)
  • Encourage and support those who report concerns. (Resources for Reporting Concerns)
  • Acknowledge that the University of Iowa stands on the ancestral land and territories of several Native American tribes and recognize that this land was obtained through exploitation and injustice.
  • Educate ourselves about the exploitation of Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) by researchers in STEM fields (i.e. Tuskegee experiment, HeLa cells, profiteering from indigenous medicines) and incorporate these histories into our curricula. (List of DEI Journal Club Readings)
  • Oppose the misuse of biology to attempt to justify discrimination and prejudice. Actively oppose the unscientific idea of "biological races" as applied to humans. There are no genetic boundaries separating human populations.
  • Reject misuses of science and appeals to pseudoscience that wrongfully attempt to justify the dehumanization of LGBTQIA+ people. 

Members of the Department of Biology DEI advisory committee curate the following list of resources. All faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students are invited and encouraged to share additional resources. Send yours to biology@uiowa.edu