Graduate student-run reflections on anti-racism and inclusion gaining attention

October 23, 2020 by rls9ha@virginia.edu

In response to the greatest social unrest in our country in a generation, a group of PhD students within the Cell and Developmental Biology training program, led by Faith Karanja, Raegan R Bostic, Danielle DaCrema, and Gustavo G Pacheco formed the Anti-Racism and Inclusion Initiative (ARII) to organize and moderate a ten-session series of discussions on anti-racism and inclusion for all members of the Cell Biology and Biology departments. These conversations, held over the summer, were directed towards a variety of topics related to biomedical institutions and how those of us in academia can create more diverse and inclusive spaces while addressing issues of systemic racism.  To disseminate this model more widely among the biomedical sciences community, the organizing students published a Commentary on “Starting Conversations Towards Inclusion” in the journal Cell.  ARII discussions are hosted every other Monday at 4:30 PM via Zoom for the Fall 2020 term. All are welcome to attend.