In our community, the one thing that we all have in common is our love and passion for plants. Nevertheless, the qualities that define our individual identities are myriad and fluid. The ways in which these qualities impact how we relate to one another have, historically, been the focus of intense discussion, deliberation, and, at times, celebration.
The mission of Changing Cultures and Climates is to provide information that supports and promotes diversity, inclusivity, and equity in the international plant science community so that it grows to more accurately reflect that of our larger, global society. Here, you will find impactful literature about culture and gender matters; information about programs and initiatives that focus on increasing and sustaining diversity in plant science; and a safe space to learn more about one another and to discuss topics around diversity, equity, and inclusion that impact our community.
We ask that you approach this site with an open mind and that you respect the opinions and choices of others, even when they differ from your own. By doing so you will help us realize our hope: to provide opportunities to educate ourselves and each other so that we, as plant scientists, can continue to be at the forefront of tackling grand challenges in science and technology that impact us all.
Over time, we plan to continue to add channels and resources to this page. If you have ideas for new resources or would like to form a group to help increase visibility and support for additional marginalized communities, please reach out to Jayson Padilla, ASPB Community Engagement Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org). We also invite you to share your feedback (anonymously if you wish) by using this form.
One year Anniversary Commentary:
This month we recently celebrated our one-year anniversary. I would like to say we have made great strides in making the global plant science community more inclusive. In some regards we have made progress. Front and Center is thriving and creating new networking opportunities for Black, Indigenous and Latine plant scientists and we hope to continue to grow this program exponentially, the new President of ASPB is Latino (Dr. Gustavo MacIntosh), ASPB has a new Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award, NAASC sponsored one of the most diverse international plant biology conferences ever (ICAR2021), and ASPB made a successful bid for an NSF funded LEAPS award, ROOT&SHOOT, to “reshape the plant science community into one that is truly equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist”
However, we have failed in many other ways. The ASPB sponsored International Congress on Plant Molecular Biology (IPMB2022) is sorely lacking marginalized speakers, women are doing the vast majority of grueling leadership work for NAASC and ICAR while male leadership languishes, and the ROOT&SHOOT LEAPS program has failed to financially support the ongoing and important equity work of Front and Center and Adventitious Roots – two impactful programs run solely by a student and postdoc from marginalized groups.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – Globally, the demographics and societal needs are changing seismically – Are we all doing what we are called to do to be a part of positive change and support the next generation of plant scientists? My CCC colleague, Joanna Friesner (NAASC) reminded me of the phrase “budgets are moral documents”- this is as true in plant science as anywhere and if we’re not intentionally putting our resources & efforts into supporting the people we claim to want to serve, then we are not being true to our stated values.
Terri Long, Organizer, Changing Cultures and Climates.
POSTERS FOR YOUR LAB
EQUITY, INCLUSION, AND DIVERSITY EVENTS
The Front & Center initiative has been developed to highlight and address the unmet needs of plant scientists who encounter racism in their pursuit of knowledge and discovery. Due to the persistence of racism in science, scientists who identify as Black, Indigenous & Latine continue to be underrepresented, underserved, and undervalued. Our mission is to center our service, advocacy, and impact to:
1.) Increase the visibility of Black, Indigenous, & Latine Plant Scientists. We will be featuring thumbnail portraits of self-nominated Black, Indigenous & Latine Plant Scientists here and on an independent Instagram account: @FrontandCenterPS
2.) Build a safe community for these scientists to connect with and support one another. We are launching “Adventitious Roots”, a private Discord server, which will feature a diversity of ways to engage with other Black, Indigenous, and & Latine Plant Scientists.
Our goals are for Black, Indigenous, and & Latine Plant Scientists to be seen, heard, belong, and have agency within the plant science community.
This channel is led by Edith Pierre-Jerome, Imani Madison, and Asia Hightower. With Support from Judy Callis, Jennifer Nemhauser, Katie Rogers, and Mary Williams.
HIGHLIGHTING BLACK, INDIGENOUS, AND LATINE PLANT SCIENTISTS
@FrontandCenterPS will be featuring a “Plant Scientist of the Week” who identifies as Black, Indigenous & Latine. We believe that representation matters and are showcasing plant scientists from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds on Instagram in order to increase visibility and reach a broader audience. Our goal is to not only raise up those who are featured but to encourage and inspire others that identify as Black, Indigenous & Latine by highlighting plant scientists who look like them.
With the support of ASPB and NAASC, weekly posts will also be featured here on Plantae. All submitted profiles will be collected here as a portrait gallery of Black, Indigenous & Latine plant scientists and their diverse research topics. We hope that this gallery becomes a resource for Black, Indigenous & Latine plant scientists to find each other and to aid in diversity and inclusion efforts.
If you’re currently a Black, Indigenous, and Latine plant scientist in an unsupportive scientific environment or institution based on your race/ethnicity then our Safe Space Discord Server is a great place to seek advice, support, or a listening ear.
This is also for those who have navigated these institutions and have a wealth of experience, advice, and knowledge to share with newcomers. Lastly, this is a place to vent frustrations without retribution.
Learning happens through trial and error and finding support from people who have shared experiences. We hope this discord server can provide a safe space for you to connect with and learn from others.
This page will consistently have text and voice channels open for discussions, venting, advice, etc as the main content for the server. Over time, we hope to also have networking and social events, like game events, watch parties, Q&A with more established scientists, and others. Let us know if there are any events or channels you would like to see here.
Our goal is to cultivate a thriving, helpful community that transcends borders and, maybe, some of these connections can extend in real life, such as at conferences. A safe space is a space that cultivates conversations with respect and productivity!
Welcome to the Anti-Racism Toolkit page! Together, we hope to build a culture that centers on justice, diversity, inclusivity, and equity by focusing on anti-racist actions and policies. A truly inclusive Plant Science community does not focus solely on racism and racial justice, but as racism one of the most pressing concerns in many countries today we have made anti-racism our focus here. By building a culture based on racial justice, inclusion, and equity we will make a better space for all.
In order to achieve this dream, each of us is invited to engage in the resources and community here towards learning, reflection, and actions.
This channel is led by Siobhan Braybrook with support from Katie Rogers. We welcome others to join the leadership team! Email: email@example.com
START WHERE YOU ARE
We recognize that everyone is at a different place in their own path towards being an active participant in elevating justice, diversity, inclusivity, and equity. As such we have begun by organizing the resources and tabs below on a path that starts with understanding and expands to the various levels of our community where work is needed; please start wherever feels right for you!
Feeling the Problem: this collection aims to help us start listening to the experiences of people of color within the Science community.
Start with Yourself: this collection aims to provide resources to help each of us work on understanding how we have internalized and held up racism, and then to start working towards anti-racist actions.
Interpersonal Work: this collection aims to provide pieces and resources to help us build more equitable and positive interpersonal relationships, for example with colleagues and in mentoring.
Institutional Work: this collection aims to provide us with information and reflection on how we can work to build anti-racist institutions.
For Educators: this collection specifically provides resources and pieces looking at building more inclusive, anti-racist, classrooms.
The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) was founded in 1924 to promote the growth and development of plant biology, to encourage and publish research in plant biology, and to promote the interests, growth, and education of plant scientists in general. Over the decades the Society has evolved and expanded to provide a forum for molecular and cellular biology as well as to serve the basic interests of plant science. It publishes the highly cited and respected journals Plant Physiology, The Plant Cell, and Plant Direct. Membership spans six continents, and our members work in such diverse areas as academia, government laboratories, and industrial and commercial environments. The Society also has a large student membership. ASPB plays a key role in uniting the international plant science disciplines.
We stand with other communities and organizations to condemn racism and those practices that run counter to ASPB’s mission of promoting and sustaining equity, diversity, and inclusion.
The North American Arabidopsis Steering Committee (NAASC), an elected body, was founded in 1992 to provide North American representation to the Multinational Arabidopsis Steering Committee (MASC) and to forge relationships and foster communication among the groups and countries world-wide that are involved in research, education, and outreach using Arabidopsis.
NAASC focuses on activities that support research, education, and the Arabidopsis community, including organizing the International Conference on Arabidopsis Research (ICAR) when it is located in North America, supporting North American researchers to participate in ICARs; providing leadership to develop and implement activities; serving as a liaison between the community and funding agencies, and advising funders of the community’s needs and priorities; and developing and enabling opportunities to support the full diversity of the Arabidopsis community, particularly in North America.
Fully funded ~100 members of under-represented groups in US STEM to annual International Conferences on Arabidopsis Research (ICAR). Established Inclusivity Scholar Subcommittee (ISS, formerly URM) to develop & support, long-term, a cohort of under-represented plant scientists
Funded ~400 travel awards to early-career investigators to participate in ICARs. Established Early Careers Scholars Subcommittee (ECSS).