The goal of the challenge was to harness creative ideas that could advance the culture and infrastructure of our department in support of a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment.
We are excited to announce the winners of the 2021 ARGEN grant challenge, a competition hosted by the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and the HMS Genetics Department. The goal of the challenge was to harness creative ideas that could advance the culture and infrastructure of our department in support of a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment.
It is our pleasure to share with you the two winning projects of the grant, and we look forward to updating you on the progress of these initiatives.
Project title: Race in Biosciences: A journal club series
Valentina Lagomarsino, PhD student, Chiu and Kostic Lab Tal Scully, PhD student, Klein Lab Elijah Kofte, former PhD student, Cepko Lab Bailey Shultz, PhD student, Walker Lab Alexandra Rudolph, PhD student, Church Lab Eileen Ablondi, PhD student, Aldeman Lab
Project Synopsis: The Social Issues in Biology (SIIB) journal club at HMS was started in 2019 with the goal of providing a space for community discussion on how science impacts society and on how society impacts science. We felt a strong call to action to lead a journal club series focused on racial inequities in STEM. The series, titled “Race in Academia”, hosted virtually in Fall of 2020, was widely attended by grad students, postdocs, and faculty across Harvard University. We are working with an expert DEI consultant to revise, expand, and post the materials from this series on an interactive website so people will have a step-by-step guide to leading these discussions in their own lab, department, or club at Harvard and beyond. The goal of this online journal club series is to enable people to have conversations to explore, engage and challenge their current understandings and relationships with Race and Racism in biosciences. The support from ARGEN will allow us to get our materials reviewed by other DEI experts, as well as to facilitate testing and distribution of the series.
Project title: A Science Party for the HMS Essential Worker Families
Kendra Sirak, Postdoctoral Fellow, Reich Lab Jakob Sedig, Postdoctoral Fellow & Ethics and Outreach Officer, Reich Lab
Project Synopsis: The essential workers of HMS are an integral part of our community, but the hustle of the work week often precludes meaningful interactions between scientists and essential workers. With ARGEN funding, we will host a Saturday afternoon “science party” for the families of HMS’s essential workers to bring our community together in a fun environment to learn not only about the science conducted at HMS, but also about the people in our department with whom we might not otherwise engage, taking a step toward a more integrated and inclusive HMS community.