The ROOT & SHOOT Steering Committee met on Wed., May 4, 2022 to:
- Reflect on the events from the April Retreat (Public Event; RCN Leaders Conversations; Movement Consulting Training; Experts Committee Conversations)
- Obtain feedback for Conference Improvement Working Group recruitment
- Discuss the SACNAS/MANRRS travel and membership awards
- Brainstorm materials for the RCN booth at the Botany2022 and NDiSTEM conferences
Reflections on the April Retreat
The April Retreat was an opportunity to engage with the Experts Committee, Movement Consulting, the leaders of the RCN-participating organizations, and the plant science community as a whole.
The Steering Committee generally held complex feelings during these events: inspired/hopeful/joy, but also fear/discomfort/being unsure. There were positive feelings about the community input and the energy for this work, and inspiration from the leaders and community discussions. The community discussions also highlighted some skepticism about the program and whether it will really do anything.
The SC noted that we are navigating complex waters; we’re feeling unsure about how to do this work and have these conversations with a community of scientists when it isn’t just about science. Given our socialization and time within these organizations and societies, how can we hope to be different if we are part of the structure?
The Experts Committee and Movement Sessions helped crystallize and validate the feelings around the problematic parts of our work together so far. We need to work on knowing more about each other, our organizations and our values, in order to center the communities we’re supposed to be serving.
Conference Improvement Subcommittee & Working Group Discussion
The Conference Improvement Subcommittee, with input from the Experts Committee, had put together a draft process for recruiting folks to join the Safer Conferences Working Group. The goal was to develop and an equitable form and process that is inclusive. Not everyone on the SC got a chance to review the document in advance of the meeting, so the discussion on the form itself will be done offline and asynchronously so that everyone can get a chance to look it over.
The Conference Improvement Subcommittee led a discussion on how to make sure that we are being inclusive in the formation of Working Groups, in particular making sure that folks who want to participate but have limited bandwidth due to other commitments, are still able to participate. The SC shared an interesting example of Tiered Working Groups from SEISMIC. There was also discussion about needing some “equitable operations guides” for our Working Groups.
ROOT & SHOOT will have a booth at both these conferences. The Steering Committee spent some time discussion the purpose of these booths, to make sure that our goals are aligned with our values (and the money we will spend). In the coming weeks, we will continue to brainstorm what materials should be included.