This year, scientists in geoscience have been called to action by their peers to create an equitable society for all members. Many scientists, particularly those who identify with one or multiple historically marginalized social groups, including race, gender, gender expression, disability, sexuality, and class, have been working for years to promote a just, equitable, diverse, and inclusionary scientific society. In recent years, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) has prioritized efforts to support the diverse members of the community and to foster an inclusive culture. However, section-wide efforts to improve inclusivity and actively remove barriers to entry, participation, and success are long overdue.
We, the AGU Hydrology Section Student Subcommittee (AGU H3S) members, call on the Hydrology Section leadership and the wider AGU community to dismantle structures that perpetuate systemic injustice and racism. We ask leaders at all levels of AGU to also be a leader in promoting justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI). As a first step, we are listening to our colleagues on how we can best support JEDI efforts, and to this end, we have started a plan to transform our community and hold leadership and our peers accountable to progress.
To begin addressing the systemic injustice at the section and AGU-wide levels, we are working with the AGU Hydrology Section leadership and the AGU Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board members to set forth a series of goals and tasks outlined in a white paper. Understanding harm induced by the erasure or lack of acknowledgment of the previous work in the JEDI space done by minoritized scientists, it was important to us to look to those resources to inform our goals and actions (Ex. AGU DI Strategic Plan and Anti Racism Action Plan). The white paper has short term and long term goals, built upon previous work done by the AGU Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board and the greater community. Our plan aims to go beyond public statements condemning the inequitable treatment of individuals and to make actionable changes towards a more equitable, diverse, inclusive, and just community. We invite you to comment on this living document and provide feedback if you believe we missed an opportunity.
To sustain the effort for years to come, we will be holding bi-annual meetings for the community to celebrate achievements, discuss progress and opportunities, and add to the goals through an open forum and online surveys. These meetings will also serve to ensure a transparent process and hold leadership and each other accountable. The first meeting will be held as a town hall at the 2020 AGU Fall Meeting on December 1st at 10 am ET. We invite all AGU members to join our town hall to provide feedback on the plan described in the white paper.
While these efforts have been spearheaded by the AGU-H3S, following this document’s publication, the AGU Hydrology Section will be forming a standing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee to drive efforts, hold our section members and leadership accountable, and ensure that the community makes progress towards the current and future goals. More information about the Hydrology Section DEI committee will be available shortly and we will be calling on our members to join this action-driven committee in the near future.
You will find the white paper embedded below. Community feedback is crucially important to make sure we are serving the community in the best way possible.
Link to the AGU Hydrology Section White Paper
To comment or provide feedback on existing goals or action items you wish to include, please fill out the form here.
AGU-H3S JEDI Team Members:
Danyka Byrnes, University of Waterloo
Julianne Davis, UNC Chapel Hill
Irene Garousi-Nejad, Utah State University
Tom Glose, Kansas Geological Survey, Kansas University
Caitlyn Hall, Arizona State University
Julia Guimond, Dalhousie University, AGU-H3S Chair-elect
Leila Saberi, University of Minnesota, AGU-H3S Chair