Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

At the end of June 2020, we released the above signed statement in support of Black lives. This page will be a dedicated resource for the Barnard Department of Biological Science's anti-racist work. We are committed to beginning this work here at home, in Altschul. In recognition of the ways in which biology has been used to justify dangerous ideology and to perpetuate systemic racism—from eugenics to scientific racism to biological determinism—we have committed to taking meaningful action that aims to dismantle these systems in our community, seeking to identify the ways in which we contribute to these and to make meaningful and lasting change for what the student experience of being a biologist at Barnard is really like. We aim to review all aspects of our community, from our pedagogical approaches, to our major curricular requirements, to our research mentoring practices.

Our first action item in July has been to begin organizing a working group of students, faculty, staff, and alumni, which will convene its first meeting in late summer once student schedules have been reorganized. The goals of this group include, but are not limited to: providing a space to discuss issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion within our department; defining what meaningful change would look like to students; organizing and planning departmental events including a seminar series intended to highlight and uplift the voices of BIPOC STEM professionals; and generating action items to be considered in the areas of awareness, course pedagogy, major curriculum, research, and faculty hiring. To join this group, please click the link above and fill out our working group questionnaire. Answers can be modified after submission, in order for participants to be able to update their availability as it changes.

In the meanwhile, in order to educate ourselves on what racial justice at Barnard could look like, members of the department have been attending weekly morning assemblies led by VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Ariana González Stokas and will continue to do so for the duration of the summer. These assemblies seek to educate attendees on the mindful practice of anti-racism, on racial justice and racial capital in higher education, and much more. Our next agenda item will be led by the faculty who will convene a College-mandated Academic Program Review.

This is only the beginning of our work, and to us, it is crucial to receive input from students and alumni. Questions, comments, ideas, criticisms, etc. can be sent to the department by contacting the department administrator, Melissa Flores (mflores@barnard.edu). We look forward to working with you in transforming the department that has brought us all together so that it serves every member of our community.

Header Image by Kon Karampelas from Pixabay