The ROOT & SHOOT Steering Committee (SC) met on Thurs., June 2, 2022 to get to know one another better, set norms for interacting respectfully, and be comfortable with discomfort in order to do community-driven change together.

As pre-work, each SC member was tasked with spending 1-2 minutes writing out responses to the prompts below. We then each selected a phrase from each prompt to share with the rest of the group.

What do you value about the community that your organization represents?

  • Community-centered
  • that it is collaborative
  • sense of belonging, support, camaraderie
  • The fascination for plants
  • I have always found it to be welcoming, supportive, and cooperative
  • opportunity to collectively address big problems
  • This small size allows me to form strong bonds with a large portion membership, and because of this, I am comfortable encouraging my lab members (all of whom are from minoritized backgrounds) to actively engage with this welcoming group of scientists
  • All RCN-participating organizations genuinely want to do the work
  • Gathering people together
  • Everyone works (for the most part) on different path-systems, so all have unique insights into MPMI, but the overall goal is the same
  • Supportive to those without power

What motivated you to take on a leadership and/or service role in your organization?

  • The desire to have a more open and inclusive society
  • to provide meaningful change
  • wanted to give more to the society
  • service
  • to support and mentor others as they find their own pathways
  • I felt I could make a tangible difference in DEI in ASPT and that my voice could be heard and respected.
  • The community has been valuable to me throughout my career and I wanted to give back now that I have more time to do this
  • I was asked to do so and felt honored.
  • Commitment and passion
  • Support those who need allies
  • desire to meet the need to eliminate “better inequality”

What outcomes from the ROOT & SHOOT RCN would make you feel like your service was worthwhile?

  • Finding better, and more, ways to include our moiety’s members in the organization in the Congress development and in the non-Congress years
  • True equity
  • Changing the DEI discussion from awareness and learning to action and structural change
  • If I see adoption of recommendations coming from the work of this RCN, especially for changes I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have made anyway, that aim to make MGC more supportive and welcoming to minoritized scientists
  • hope that R&S and the new strategic planning document synergize, with R&S paving the way for change espoused in this society document via training of our leadership and specific recommendations for improvement
  • Better and more diverse meetings
  • Changes in culture and by-laws
  • a broadly held sense that the organization is welcoming to and inclusive of all
  • to become a better human, scientist, collaborator, and mentor. to learn and to mentor
  • Provide other ways of working to our communities
  • folks in marginalized groups feel and see a significant difference

This exercise, led by Steering Committee member Jennifer Nemhauser, was a reminder of the reasons this group formed and the impact it can have for all of our organizations.

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