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Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

EEB has a Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee and a variety of programs that seek to enhance diversity and equity and build a just and inclusive community, not only in our own department, but in society in general. Our philosophy is that the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology are enhanced when practitioners represent the full range of human experiences. We also feel that addressing present inequities is the responsibility of all academic fields. For this reason we have a series of formal activities that seek to build an inclusive climate where all members can do their best work and to redress the historical inequalities present in our society.

Department Liaisons

2023-24 JEDI Committee: Catherine Badgley, Justin Hopper, Jo Kurdziel, Diana Carolina Vergara, and Grace Zhang

LSA Community of Practice (Unit-Level DEI Planning): Nate Sanders and Justin Hopper

LSA Inclusive Culture Liaison: Nathan Sadowsky

Rackham Faculty Ally: Tom Duda

 Recent activities:

  • Inaugural JEDI Award and logo winners announced:
    EEB’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee is delighted to announce that the winner of the Inaugural EEB JEDI Award is the BioBlitz Planning Committee for organizing and planning the annual University of Michigan BioBlitz event. Stay tuned for more information on the logo winners: EEB graduate students Brianna Mims and Diana Carolina Vergara. Read more about the JEDI Award winner in EEB web news>>
  • Participation in the U-M President's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, a collaborative partnership with the University of California to offer postdoc opportunities to candidates whose research, teaching and service will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education. We were pleased to welcome André Green, as our first U-M Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, to EEB. He joined us as an assistant professor January 1, 2020.
  • Participation in the LSA Collegiate Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, a major initiative aimed to promote a diverse scholarly environment, encourage outstanding individuals to enter academia, and support scholars committed to diversity. We were pleased to welcome Luis Zaman, LSA Collegiate Postdoctoral Fellow, to EEB. Zaman joined our faculty Sept. 1, 2019, as an assistant professor.
  • In August 2020, EEB held a virtual Race Talk Workshop with Dr Bedlia Richards
  • In March 2019, EEB held a departmental town hall meeting on student mental health.
  • In January 2019, EEB introduced a new DEI library
  • Previous events: January 2018, the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching Players performed a skit called “Cuts: Responding to Student Climate Concerns” that explored the many forces that shape campus climate with an eye toward developing or refining skills to be able to respond productively and compassionately to individuals who have negative experiences at the university; a department-wide workshop on mediating skills (winter 2017); a department-wide town hall meeting (January 2016) to discuss DEI issues
  • A change to the faculty hiring process in the department that includes consideration of a candidate's commitment and experience with DEI.
  • A department climate reporting dropbox
  • The creation of a rainbow colored "You Are Welcome Here" logo that can be found throughout the department on office and lab doors and on our website. Read more about the YAWH campaign in EEB>>

Diversifying EEB

The Frontiers Master's Program is designed to attract a diverse student body interested in research within the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology. Read more about the program>>

  • Diversify EEB:
    Professors Gina Baucom and Meghan Duffy have set in motion a rapidly growing list of female and/or underrepresented minority researchers in ecology and evolution to help balance the numbers of speakers at scientific seminars and symposia. Follow on Twitter @DiversifyEEB
  • Diversify EEB grads:
    A companion site for graduate students managed by Gina Baucom, Meg Duffy and EEB alumnus Katherine Crocker.
  • Sustainable Food Systems Initiative:
    Professors John Vandermeer, Catherine Badgley, Mark Hunter, and Gina Baucom are active members of this initiative, which seeks to incorporate diversity issues to food studies (food sovereignty, food deserts, urban agriculture, international relations). The recent course “Food Literacy for All” is taught by both a U-M professor and food activist from Detroit and is broadcast to the U-M Detroit Center.
  • M-STEM Academy:
    The mission is to increase, strengthen and diversify the number of U-M undergraduates pursuing baccalaureate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
  • Ecological Society of America's Black Ecology section:
    Professor Nyeema Harris and recent alumni Senay Yitbarek and Jasmine Crumsey were founding members of this new section.

Community outreach

Michigan ZoomIN: Professor Nyeema Harris developed a citizen science project that reaches underserved communities of students to get them involved in her wildlife research. Read more and watch a video>>

  • EEB's outreach news
    Read all about it! We continually gather information from our faculty and students to keep our community informed of DEI activities within the department, the university and society at large.
  • EEB’s outreach videos:
    We have compiled a series of videos on our YouTube channel emphasizing EEB’s participation in outreach activities and encouraging underrepresented minorities to join us. See one below.
  • EEB's social justice report
  • Center for Research on Learning and Teaching:
    Responding to difficult moments resources
  • The EEB Social Committee has added ​events to the calendar to better serve a broad diversity of interests and availability. ​These include​: A family-friendly crane watching field trip, tea and biscuits at Research Museums Center, a spring formal dance​, and organizing coffee meetings between members of the department who don't usually meet and talk. These are in addition to the long-standing holiday party and spring picnic. ​The committee works to make events accessible and interesting. ​For example, at the holiday party, the committee has developed themes​, games​ and includes a variety of music genres, to serve many interests of the department.
  • College of Literature, Science, and the Arts DEI
  • U-M DEI

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