National Diversity Awareness Week and Global Diversity Month


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Source: Sean D. Tallman, PhD, AAFS Diversity Outreach Committee Chair

The AAFS Diversity Outreach Committee (DOC) would like to draw AAFS members’ attention to—and celebrate—National Diversity Awareness Week (Oct 4-10), which emphasizes the importance of diversity and inclusion within organizations, such as the AAFS, and Global Diversity Month (October), which honors global diversity and multiculturalism, including the contributions of our International members. The AAFS is comprised of diverse scientific disciplines and its success is dependent on multiplicities in identities, perspectives, and lived experiences as represented in the membership. As such, the AAFS is committed to increasing and sustaining a diverse membership through inclusive practices, policies, and procedures. For example, the AAFS is committed to holding annual in-person meetings (when possible) in states that do not have discriminatory legislation (e.g., anti-LGBTQIA+ bills), thereby encouraging all members to participate in and benefit from annual meeting attendance (https://www.freedomforallamericans.org/states/). Not only does discriminatory legislation prevent some state employees (e.g., those in California) from using state funds for travel to locations with discriminatory legislation (https://oag.ca.gov/ab1887), but some AAFS members may conscientiously forego attendance because they do not want to contribute financially to local economies in states with discriminatory legislation. Therefore, the AAFS DOC, Board of Directors, and annual meeting planners will work together to identify states with discriminatory legislation and select locations that promote inclusive meeting attendance. As we all have an important role to play in fostering inclusion, the DOC encourages all AAFS members to assess their own behaviors and practices to identify biases and exclusionary habits that hinder inclusion. Some resources for identifying, confronting, and disrupting exclusionary behavior and biases can be found in the links below:

Tolerance.org: https://www.tolerance.org/professional-development/test-yourself-for-hidden-bias

Builtin: https://builtin.com/diversity-inclusion/unconscious-bias-examples

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/exclusionary-behavior-effecting-your-organization-kathy-obear/

HR Acuity: https://www.hracuity.com/blog/5-workplace-behaviors-that-really-are-bullying

Wilmington Women TEDx: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz4lgJIZC-8