Diversity and Inclusion

The Boston University Microbiome Initiative is striving to bring together scientists from different backgrounds, disciplines and departments to foster greater understanding of microbial ecosystems. Despite being a diverse community, we recognize that academia has a long history of discrimination, racism and injustice, which to this day create strong biases in the opportunities that different researchers have to fulfill their dreams and potential, and silences the voices of BIPOC scientists. As a community, we pledge to:

- Welcome to the Microbiome Initiative colleagues from any background, skin color, religion, gender, affectional orientation, nationality, ethnicity or any other self-identified identity

- Have zero tolerance for racist or discriminatory behavior

- Provide concrete support to colleagues who speak out against racism

- Actively reach out to communities under-represented in academia, and create of opportunities for kids to pursue paths in STEM

- Respect and encourage lab members to take time off for holidays/events of personal and cultural importance

- Support administrative and policy initiatives that further the cause of anti-racism

- Acknowledge our own incapacity of being free from implicit biases, work towards correcting them, and be vigilant to how these biases may affect our colleagues;

- Follow publication practices that make research accessible and equitable, and that rewards scientists fairly for their contributions in the form of appropriate authorship.

This document is inspired by conversations we engaged in, and by similar documents posted by others. It is not a finished document; rather, our work toward antiracism will be always ongoing and evolving as it needs to. In How to be an Antiracist, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi writes, “Like fighting an addiction, being an antiracist requires persistent self-awareness, constant self-criticism, and regular self-examination.”