As an educator, it is my responsibility to create a classroom environment that is safe and welcoming for all students, especially those students that have been excluded from our institutions for far too long. It is also my responsibility to co-create a university that not only provides equal access, but also reparations towards those we have mistreated.
I am imperfect—I bring my own history, experience, and biases into the classroom. However, I’m striving to be better. As such, I pledge the following:
- I will exercise teaching practices that create safe and inviting classroom environments for all students.
- When participating in or organizing a panel, I will advocate for a diverse representation of speakers. I acknowledge that there are plenty of unheard, underrepresented voices in science that we need to amplify.
- I will closely read and question diversity statements from job candidates. We need to ask questions and push candidates on their feelings about diversity and community values, not just about science.
- I will fight for resources and spaces on campus for Black faculty and students. Diversity is not the same thing as inclusion.
- I will stand up to community members who don’t take these issues seriously, and raise my voice when I hear something out of sync with our community values.
—Ashley Juavinett, June 2020
Major hat tip to Anne Urai, who inspired me to write this pledge. You can find her post, along with many more resources, here.
I recently recorded this in the form of a video for UC San Diego’s Our Voices project:
Audre Lorde, The Uses of Anger