Diversity and Inclusion Day (2020)
AFS members and the general public congregated to “Learn, Engage, and Commit” to increasing diversity and inclusion (DI) in our society. From morning talks, we learned about closing the distance for marginalized communities, the why and how of pronouns, and progress on DI efforts inside and outside of AFS. The Emmeline Moore Award was presented to Dr. Ivan Arismendi, whose acceptance speech reminded us every person can make a difference and uplift diverse talent. We engaged our “Unconscious Biases” with facilitator Darlene Floyd by examining how we’ve been socialized with biases and that it is our responsibility to understand, acknowledge, and challenge our biases. During afternoon group discussions, we started by sharing experiences that meeting attendees have experienced at AFS meetings that led to feelings of exclusion. Hearing personal stories raised our collective awareness of the challenges that AFS needs to address to be a more inclusive society. The groups also discussed our vision for a more diverse and inclusive AFS, and brainstormed action items for individuals and AFS leaders to commit to be a more diverse and inclusive society. We ended the day with a Happy Hour, including themed spaces for Women in Fisheries, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), LGBTQ+, and Early Career. Throughout DI day, attendees learned and discussed action items that can be taken at all levels, collectively, individually and at the leadership level within AFS. Below we outline our compilation of collective vision and action items resulting from DI Day.
Our collective vision for AFS
In our breakout sessions during DI Day, we determined that to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive society we must achieve the following:
- Everyone feels comfortable.
- Everyone is valued and listened to equally.
- We lift each other up and amplify marginalized voices.
- We create space to have discussions and foster a culture that supports justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion regularly.
- We have diverse leaders who are committed to self-education and making progress on justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion in AFS.
- We learn from the successes and failures of other organizations to enact best practices.
- We regularly recognize and award work done on diversity, equity and inclusion.
- We have affinity spaces and support networks for marginalized communities.
- We expand outreach/education and recruitment to more diverse communities.
- We understand the humanity in our science, and that our science affects humans.
- We ask our membership how they are doing on a regular basis, respond to their needs, and report on progress made.
For a pdf of the full report, please visit our special reports page. Use the buttons below to navigate to the lists of action items for individuals and AFS leaders.