Commitment to DEI and Anti-Racism

Modified from the Brashares Lab:

The Silver Lab is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our research, teaching, department and broader community. We recognize that long-standing systems of power, privilege, and oppression have excluded many groups from academia, including the fields of ecology and biogeochemistry. We work to foster a culture of inclusivity and honest communication across race, age, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, migratory status, ability/disability, and class. We embrace an antiracist agenda by calling out and actively resisting racism, intolerance and inequality in our professional and personal interactions. We strive to show, and be held accountable for, meaningful results from our efforts to ensure the words we share here are anything but academic.

To achieve our goals of antiracist action, we commit to:

  1. Recruit and mentor undergraduate and graduate students from diverse backgrounds and support efforts to recruit and retain faculty from diverse backgrounds at the departmental level.
  2. Support underrepresented students and provide mentoring to help students navigate facets of scientific training that reflect and sometimes amplify legacies of exclusion. These include academic conferences, career planning, academic “old boy networks”, thesis committees, the publication process, grant-writing, and fieldwork.
  3. Reference literature in our publications and teaching that emphasizes contributions to our field from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) voices.
  4. Critically examine representation in our own research, particularly in the composition of research teams and our targeting of outreach.
  5. Set aside time during weekly lab meetings to check in on our progress towards these goals and our committed actions.

Resources on Race from ESPM Community

Commitment to a safe, respectful and inclusive workplace in the Soil Biogeochemistry & Ecosystem Ecology Lab at UC Berkeley. 

Modified from the Battles Lab:

The Soil Biogeochemistry & Ecosystem Ecology Lab (Supervisor: Whendee L. Silver) at the University of California Berkeley (UCB) is committed to maintaining a vibrant and inclusive academic environment that is safe and free of harassment[1] and other forms of discrimination. All faculty, students, and staff are expected to conduct their work with consideration for the barriers that might affect a colleague’s ability to work across the full range of their tasks. Mindfulness and respect are the foundation of an inclusive work environment. Open communication with one another and with supervisors that raises awareness is essential to preventing many interpersonal conflicts that affect members’ ability to thrive at work. 

Lab climate and reporting policy. Evidence points to numerous disincentives for reporting sexual violence and sexual harassment (SVSH). Reporters often incur both subtle and overt negative social repercussions for speaking up. These negative consequences of reporting SVSH are part of an imbalanced power dynamic that encourages silence and concealment of harassment.[2] Anyone reporting or discussing harassment has a right to communicate their experiences free from negative social repercussions and retaliatory dynamics. Every lab member has the responsibility to uphold this right and ensure an inclusive, respectful, and supportive environment for all. Though we strive to create a safe environment for reporting SVSH, we recognize that those experiencing SVSH have the right to decide for themselves whether or not to report it. Delayed reporting or non-reporting will be understood in the context of the complex costs and benefits that those experiencing SVSH must weigh. The onus of creating an inclusive and harassment-free lab culture lies not on reporters, but on the supervisor and lab members to proactively and continually evaluate their own actions and behavior to ensure they honor this commitment. 

In regard to SVSH, all lab members with supervisory roles are considered “responsible employees” by UC Berkeley and are required to notify the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) if they receive information regarding potential violations of UCB’s SVSH policies. Please see this link for more information: SVSH policy. Concerns should be addressed to direct supervisors. For cases where the complaint involves the direct supervisor, concerns can be lodged with the supervisor’s boss and/or the OHPD (Link to OPHD). UCB also maintains confidential resources that provide support to anyone impacted by sexual violence and/or sexual harassment without reporting responsibilities (Confidential Resources).

[1] The definition of harassment according to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission can be found here: Definition.

[2] Whitley, L. and Page, T. “Sexism at the Centre: Locating the Problem of Sexual harassment.” New Formations 86.86 (2015): 34–53.