Dear BINA Community,
On behalf of the BINA Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Working Group, we write to express our deep sadness over the rampant racism, fear, and suffering that is happening across the US right now. We want to acknowledge our shared outrage at the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and too many other people of color, and also the impact that the current climate has on our friends, families, and colleagues’ abilities to feel safe and valued.
As a diverse community representing imaging scientists from all over the world, we must stand against racism in all forms, be it institutionalized racism against black and brown individuals, xenophobic attacks against those of Asian descent, or any other form of hatred and prejudice that seeks to divide us. Our united strength has never been more necessary, and we encourage you to check in with your colleagues at this time, take care of each other, and provide support and recognition of the fear and pain that so many of us are feeling.
This is also a call to action.
What are we doing? The BINA D&I Working Group is doing our part to address racial inequities within our field. In the past year,
We hosted interactive panels, such as ‘Creating an inclusive workplace’ (Western Association of Core Directors, October 2019)
We hosted a roundtable discussion ‘Intersectionality in STEM and how we can further diversify our field and better address gender, race, and economic disparity (Advanced Imaging Methods, Jan 2020).
Through Core Connect, we have connected members from underrepresented groups with lab positions and internship programs.
We provide assistance to young scientists seeking scholarships and other professional opportunities, such as BINA’s Mentor Connect and job shadowing programs.
We have partnered with the Peabody Science Foundation whose goal is to provide comprehensive and guided science education through the Merritt College's Microscopy Program. The foundation's programs and activities are designed to be a catalyst to help underrepresented science majors reach their science education goals and move toward a biotech job or transfer to a four-year university.
We are assembling a diverse list of speakers to help conference organizers ensure inclusivity.
We provide advice to lab leaders on how to recognize and eliminate underlying racial bias, increase cultural awareness, create a sense of belonging in order to ensure an accessible work environment for all scientists.
We are pursuing funding opportunities (with corporate partners, NSF) with the intent to provide funding to underrepresented groups to help overcome the barriers they face in pursuing higher education through our BINA supported training and educational programs.
What can you do? Reach out - we need to hear from our community as to what we can do better, and to help us develop actionable approaches. Educate yourself - there are many excellent anti-racism resources available and we all do better when we know more. Here’s a great article and a reading list by Ibram X. Kendi to get you started. If you haven’t already, Join us – and encourage your colleagues to do the same; membership is free, and we welcome new members from all backgrounds and career stages. With your help, we can enrich bioimaging research through diversity, inclusion, access, and equity.
We are here for you.
BINA Diversity & Inclusion Working Group