August 4, 2020

We at JEI stand in solidarity with recent social justice movements including Black Lives Matter, #ShutDownSTEM and others that support the fight against systemic racism. We recognize our responsibility as scientists and community members to educate ourselves about systemic racism and combat socio-economic and racial injustices that plague our scientific community. We must take specific anti-racist actions to address the pervasive racial inequality that has led to horrific occurrences of police brutality, disparities in public health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and stark underrepresentation and underappreciation of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) scientists.

We have always tried to engage young students to bring diverse voices into the next generation of scientists. Given the role that our work may play in perpetuating inequality, we must do more to reach, support, and encourage budding scientists from backgrounds that are underrepresented in science. Our newly created Diversity and Inclusion Committee, composed of both JEI volunteer staff and members of the JEI Board of Directors, is tasked with implementing organization-wide actions to address this.

JEI is in a unique position to empower diverse leadership in our graduate student -based volunteer staff in addition to creating opportunity, support, and mentorship for students who may be discovering scientific inquiry for the first time. To this end, we plan to:

  1. Perform a critical assessment of the composition of our student authors and staff.
  2. At minimum, double the proportion of our volunteer staff and leadership who are BIPOC in the next two years.
  3. Create a lasting infrastructure that will advise or train JEI staff and leadership on the challenges facing and necessity of not only recruiting, but supporting BIPOC student authors and staff.
  4. Rewrite our mission statement and staff training materials to reaffirm and prioritize our commitment to creating opportunities and mentorship for BIPOC JEI authors.
  5. Promote and highlight the stories, publications, and successes of BIPOC voices at JEI through our social media platforms, website, and internal communications.

If you have ideas or suggestions, we welcome all input and dialogue. Please reach out to us at questions@emerginginvestigators.org if you would like to start a conversation.

Sincerely,

The Journal of Emerging Investigators Board and Executive Leadership team

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