ShadeLab Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
1. General Statement
In ShadeLab we value and honor the uniqueness of each individual and embrace diverse backgrounds and viewpoints to build a strong and inclusive group. We aim to prepare students, postdocs and visiting scholars for their future as scientists and citizens in an equitable, multicultural society.
We uphold Michigan State University’s policies on Diversity Equity and Inclusion (see Resources), including protection for observance of religious practices.
This statement is intended as a living document, to be collectively reviewed and improved by the members of the ShadeLab. It was first formally instated on 02 July 2020, and most recently reviewed and updated in April 2021.
2. Value Statements
The ShadeLab holds diversity, equity, and inclusion as one of our core values and is committed to upholding them. Diversity includes, but is not limited to, considering race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, national or cultural origins, religion, political beliefs, different abilities, neurodiversity, and lifestyle. ShadeLab will not tolerate any type of discrimination or bigotry.
We believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion are active processes that require continuous, intentional commitment to promote a healthy work environment and to enable success of our team members and of our collective scientific mission.
We believe that our differences provide an opportunity to accelerate advances and innovations in science by bringing diverse perspectives, talents, approaches, and dialogue to solving key problems. Our research program is empowered and strengthened by our diversity.
3. Action Statements
Our values are recognized through several actionable measures that we collectively undertake.
We engage in inclusive, active and individualized learning and mentoring.
We strive to employ direct communication, with a particular focus on strengthening our collective abilities to give and receive candid feedback.
We understand that when individuals come from different backgrounds, they bring different ideas and perspectives. We will be considerate of and supportive of those perspectives while also sharing our own culture and values reciprocally.
We promote a culture of open-mindedness, compassion and inclusiveness among all team members by welcoming persons from all nations and backgrounds, and by supporting one another in our science and community needs.
We promote cultural, personal, and individual expression that contribute to meaningful interaction and dialogue that will support our building of a welcoming, educational and understanding community that is culturally informed.
We engage in outreach and community involvement, including Women in STEM days, SciFest, GSW, R Ladies East Lansing Data Science Symposium, and others.
We acknowledge our unconscious biases and strive to check and overcome them. Resources to understand unconscious bias:
When recruiting new team members, we pursue open hiring protocols and engage in thoughtful discussions within our group to review applications and to inform decisions on offers. This action supports inclusion of diverse applicant pools and ensures multiple levels of applicant review in an effort to reduce any one person's subconscious biases that may be at play in the decision making process.
We commit to actively listen to each other with empathy and openness.
We will always do our best to be kind and generous, and to acknowledge that we are human beings who will make mistakes that we will correct and learn from.
We will strive to educate ourselves about DEI, and through our informed actions, to be part of the solution to promote DEI at Michigan State, in science and in society. Within ShadeLab, we collect and share resources within the group, including books, blogposts, reports, literature, workshop opportunities, and other relevant documents that can support our mutual education in DEI.
We have an open-door policy and Ashley is very happy to discuss any feedback or concerns regarding DEI with anyone.
4. Resources at Michigan State University
ShadeLab is happy to help to identify and direct members to DEI resources at Michigan State. Below are some links to key MSU resources.
5. Michigan State University Land Acknowledgement
We collectively acknowledge that Michigan State University occupies the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary Lands of the Anishinaabeg – Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples. In particular, the University resides on Land ceded in the 1819 Treaty of Saginaw. We recognize, support, and advocate for the sovereignty of Michigan’s twelve federally-recognized Indian nations, for historic Indigenous communities in Michigan, for Indigenous individuals and communities who live here now, and for those who were forcibly removed from their Homelands. By offering this Land Acknowledgement, we affirm Indigenous sovereignty and will work to hold Michigan State University more accountable to the needs of American Indian and Indigenous peoples.