All of society benefits from and depends on natural resources, and thus, natural resource education units and the broader natural resource management workforce should reflect the diverse society in which we live, work, recreate and interact. The goal of the SFRC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee is to foster and support diversity, inclusion, and equity among our students, faculty, and staff. We aim to facilitate an environment in which we value and learn from each other’s unique experiences, identities, and perspectives to co-create sustainable management of our natural resources and meet the changing needs of people and environments.
The SFRC DEI Committee meets monthly to promote and support a more diverse and welcoming faculty, student body, and workforce within the School. Its members include faculty, staff, and graduate students with a variety of experiences and perspectives. The Committee develops strategies, tools, and policy recommendations; monitors School processes; and continuously engages SFRC faculty, staff, and students on current topics of diversity and inclusion.
Since its founding in 2016, the Committee has:
- Facilitated SFRC conversations and advanced understanding of diversity and inclusion topics through recurrent sharing of resources and in-depth workshops at annual faculty retreats.
- Created a comprehensive approach to increasing diversity and inclusion in faculty searches, which changed the school’s faculty search policies and procedures. This resulted in a best practices document (SFRC Guidelines to Facilitate an Inclusive Faculty Search and Screen Process) that has been circulated both within and beyond the School.
Currently, the committee is focused on recruiting and retaining undergraduate and graduate students, including fostering existing relationships with partners at historically black colleges and universities, and identifying ways to create a more comfortable and inviting culture for all SFRC students.
Karen Kainer (co-chair), Taylor Stein (co-chair)
Alison Adams, Mabel Baez (FRC grad student), Shirley Baker, Grenville Barnes, Wendy-Lin Bartels, Grace Burmester (staff), Mysha Clarke, Tim Martin, Martha Monroe, Scott Sager (staff), Victoria Scaff (staff), Kim Scotto-Kelley (staff), Andres Susaeta, Jason Vogel, Charles Wallace (FAS grad student)
List of resources, organizations, and scholarship opportunities for underrepresented groups.
Diversity Conversations are one product of the SFRC Diversity Committee. Below is a record of these postings to date.
Diversity Conversation #11, Posted 6/9/20
White Academia: Do Better. (article)
by Jasmine Roberts – Professor at The Ohio State University
We have all been horrified by the recent killings of Black Americans George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. In understanding the connection of these recent events to centuries of systemic and structural oppression, many of us are asking ourselves: “What can I do?”
Knowing that the Black community experiences “constant trauma, historic pain and dehumanization” as a part of their everyday lives, we wonder “What can I do in my everyday life to support Black colleagues who share my academic work space?”
Jasmine Roberts of The Ohio State University responds by calling on Academia to “Do Better”. As a start, she provides 10 tangible actions each of us can take to support Black faculty, staff, and students.
Diversity Conversation #10, Posted 10/22/19
Privilege, Power and Difference (chapter 2)
by Allan Johnson
What do we mean by “diversity”? This critical question came up again at the August faculty retreat. It is at the heart of our Diversity Committee, and at the heart of our efforts to diversify SFRC faculty and address student diversity. Does it just mean “difference”? Each of us is different than everyone else…at all sorts of levels and for many reasons. So what kind of differences, what kind of diversity, are we talking about?
This question is tackled head on in Chapter 2 of Allan Johnson’s very readable book Privilege, Power and Difference. It gives a sense of how we (society in general, SFRC in particular) might think about “diversity”.
Diversity Conversation #9, Posted 6/3/19
For new science, look to new places, faces (article)
Jack Payne for the Gainesville Sun
Jack Payne, IFAS Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources, recently articulated his take on the subject of human diversity in our student body in a Gainesville Sun opinion piece.
Diversity Conversation #8, Posted 4/4/19
Leadership Nature Podcast: “It’s not about inspiring; it’s about building trust” (61 minute podcast)
feat. Terry Baker, SFRC Alum and CEO of Society of American Foresters
This episode explores Terry’s experiences as a leader, a leader of color, and a successful natural resource professional. In addition, Terry discusses what the profession needs to do better to attract and retain a diverse talent pool, and he shares some powerful lessons of leadership from an early age.
Diversity Conversation #7, Posted 12/4/18
Diversity Joint Venture for Conservation Careers (video series)
Overcoming Stereotypes (4 minutes)
Similarity Bias (4 minutes)
A Conversation With White People About Race (6 minutes)
A Conversation with Latinos about Race (7 minutes)
A Conversation with Black Women on Race (6 minutes)
A Conversation with Native Americans about Race (7 minutes)
Unconscious Bias: What to do about it in the search and recruitment process (25 minute video)
Association of American Medical Colleges
This video covers unconscious bias; a review of the scientific literature showing the effects of unconscious bias in three specific domains: evaluation, hiring, and leadership; and practical steps that you, your search committee, and your institution can take to mitigate the impact of unconscious bias.
Diversity Conversation #6, Posted 5/18/18
I Choose Grace (article)
Just Me, Kate Column – Morning Ag Clips
Upon reflection of a 20-year career, a dairy nutritionist offers up some suggestions on how to handle awkward work situations.
Diversity Conversation #5, Posted 2/5/18
Seeing White (podcast series)
Scene on Radio
This 14-part audio documentary series explores whiteness in America—where it came from, what it means, and how it works. Consider listening first to Part 3, focused on key moments in U.S. history – the step-by-step moments – that shaped the creation of whiteness in the U.S. (34 minutes)
Diversity Conversation #4, Posted 7/5/17
The Culture Inside (58 minute podcast)
from Invisibilia, an NPR Series
Is there a part of ourselves that we don’t acknowledge, that we don’t even have access to and that might make us ashamed if we encountered it? This podcast gives a sense of the scientific discovery behind what we now term “implicit bias.”
Friend, foe or food? Hidden biases influence us all (article)
by Deborah Strange – Gainesville Sun
“Implicit bias is subconscious, something you pick up from your parents, peers, the media, your surroundings. Whereas people recognize their explicit bias, their self-reported preference for or against something, implicit bias isn’t something people are typically aware of. Yet everyone carries those biases within.”
Diversity Conversation #3, Posted 3/16/17
Damning With Faint Praise (article)
by Colleen Flaherty – Inside Higher Ed
A recent study by Dutt et al. focused on the letters of recommendation received for post-doctoral fellowships in the geosciences. Check out a quick synopsis of their findings in the Inside Higher Ed piece. The University of Arizona offers a 1-page guide to avoiding gender bias in reference writing.
Diversity Conversation #2, Posted 2/16/17
The Racism of Good White People (blog post)
by Allan Johnson – Sociologist, author and public speaker
In this piece, Johnson gets at the differences between overtly mean and harmful acts of racism (think turbulent 1960s) and the more ingrained structures of racism in our society that are fairly independent of our daily individual actions and interactions.
Diversity Conversation #1, Posted 2/2/17
Implicit Bias: Understanding Automatic Thoughts and Feelings (85 minute talk)
by Dr. Kate Ratliff – UF Assistant Professor of Psychology and Executive Director of Harvard University’s Project Implicit
UF’s own Kate Ratliff gave a fascinating talk on implicit social cognition – thoughts and feelings we all have that are outside of our conscious awareness and affect our understanding, actions and decisions.
Implicit Bias (41 minute talk)
by Charles Blow – New York times Op-Ed columnist
Mr. Blow starts off his address by describing a white woman who lectures on race and diversity, delivering a talk to an all-white audience. She poses the question: “Raise your hand if you would trade places with black people in America and how they are currently treated in this country.” Mr. Blow then provides his perspective on how can we better understand race and inequality. Mr. Blow’s discussion centers on events and experiences in the U.S., with some global examples. He draws on insights from such historical developments as the establishment of land-grant universities and the development of police departments.