In 2020, the DEI Coordinator conducted a pipeline analysis of our PhD student population that tracks the group’s racial and ethnic diversity, gender, first generation status, and economic disadvantage for the past 10+ years.The department created the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator position. One faculty member is elected to this 2-year position to respond to and improve the inclusivity and equity for all members of our community.
We know we need to listen more and to listen to more diverse voices. In Spring 2020, we created an Emerging Scholars Colloquium Series that invited junior scholars from underrepresented backgrounds to visit our department and share their research, in order to broaden the perspectives that are reflected in our conversations, and engage with our community. We are committed to continuing this series.
In response to the killing of George Floyd, the Department released a public statement.
In the following months, the Department held two Town Hall meetings for the entire Psychology community. The Town Halls resulted in the creation of 13 faculty-led working groups, which any member of the department can join. The working groups covered topics such as (a) mentorship for URM members of the Psychology community, (b) micro-aggressions, (c) the creation of a Workshop on Race and Racism in Science (see below) (d) a review of doctoral student finances.
These working groups met their goals and their work has been taken up by a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee comprised of two faculty members and two PhD students who are elected to this committee each year. The committee seek input from masters' students and undergraduate students, in addition to staff and all members of our community.
2021 Workshop on race and racism in science: In collaboration with the Center for Neural Science and the Department of Biology at NYU, the Psychology Department recently developed a workshop about race and racism in the history of science. Science does not exist in a vacuum, but in the context of social and cultural forces, some of which have been oppressive, exploitative, and dehumanizing. Across history and continuing today, prominent and less prominent scientists have taken part in racist ideologies and practices in the name of science. For example, genetics and IQ research have both been deeply intertwined with eugenics, people of color have been taken advantage of in medical trials, and racial biases of machine learning algorithms are often dismissed. The workshop will cover topics ranging from genetics to human subjects research and data science. Attending the workshop was mandatory for PhD students in their first four years and strongly recommended for everyone else, in particular faculty. The workshop will be repeated in future years.