One of the goals of the NSF-funded ROOT & SHOOT RCN (research coordination network) project is to work towards a culture where all are included, welcomed, and safe in our professional spaces, including conferences. Over the past two years, through the efforts of the Inclusive Conference Working Group, the RCN has focused considerable attention on making our conferences safer and more welcoming spaces.

One of the recommendations of the Inclusive Conference Working Group was to provide opt-in training for conference attendees so they are better prepared to respond to problematic behaviors that they might observe. Last year (2023) the RCN sponsored two free 3-hour bystander intervention workshops, organized and led by the ADVANCEGeo Partnership. These proved popular and useful, so we are repeating the free trainings in 2024. 

Additionally, in response to feedback from attendees, we are also offering two free 1-hour advanced intervention scenario practice sessions for people who have already completed the longer training session.

We are offering both the short and long training twice, in February (particularly recommended for people who are attending the Maize Genetics meeting at the end of February, but open to anyone), and in May. The February and May trainings are identical, so you can sign up for whichever date and time is most convenient for your schedule.

Who should attend these trainings? We particularly would like to invite people who plan to attend a 2024 plant science conference hosted by an organization affiliated with the RCN: APS (Plant Health), ASPT and BSA (Botany Conference), ASPB (Plant Biology meeting), MGC (Maize Genetics Meeting), and NAASC (International Conference on Arabidopsis Research). People who hold leadership positions affiliated with any of these organizations are particularly encouraged to apply, but no matter what career level you are at, you can learn from these trainings and be prepared to respond if a problem arises.

For more information and to sign up, please follow the links below.

February 2024 trainings: Three-hour workshop Monday February 12, 2 – 5 PM EST. One-hour advanced scenario practice session Thursday February 15, 1 – 2 PM EST.  Please register for February trainings at the links below by February 5, 2024.

May 2024 trainings: Three-hour workshop Wednesday May 22, 11 AM – 2 PM EDT. One-hour advanced scenario practice session Tuesday May 28, 3 – 4 PM EDT.

Each session has space for 100 participants, and we hope to allow all who are interested to attend. Please express your interest by completing this form for either of the 3-hour introductory workshops (indicate your choice of February or May on the form) and this form for the 1-hour advanced workshop for those who have previously completed bystander intervention training (indicate your choice of February or May on the form).

Three hour bystander intervention workshop (Feb or May) –  more information and application form.

One hour advanced intervention scenario practice (Feb or May)more information and application form.



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