Professional societies exist to support all their members, and scientific conferences and journals are intended to serve all equitably. We want to hear from you about your experiences navigating your professional spheres, so that we can collectively identify and work to address processes that are inequitable or opaque. We are hosting an Idea Café* during which you will join with others to share your experiences attending professional society conferences, engaging as a member, submitting to or reviewing for journals, or other professional processes. Collectively we will identify barriers to full equity, inclusion, access, and belonging, and we will explore opportunities to overcome or eliminate those barriers.
When you register, you will be asked to select up to three topics you would be interested in discussing during the idea café. These topics include both processes and identities: Accessibility, Awards, Conference Culture, Editorial Processes, Gender Identity, LGBTQ+, Racial and Ethnic Identity, Society Opportunities. In the workshop room, tables will be labeled with selected topics, and when you enter you will sit at a table with a topic that interests you.
The first small group discussion period will last 20 minutes, during which participants will share their experiences navigating professional society spaces, with a focus on identifying barriers to equity, inclusion, access, and belonging. We ask you to consider how different identities might affect your ability to navigate these spaces.
We will reconvene as a large group to report on the barriers identified, and then breakout again to address some of these challenges more deeply. At the end of the second discussion period, each group will report on two suggestions they identified, one a small step and one a bold approach. The discussions will be summarized and shared with the steering committee of the NSF funded ROOT&SHOOT research coordination effort that seeks to “Root Out Oppression Together and Share Our Outcomes Transparently”
* An Idea Café is a conversational method used to solicit ideas on a particular issue, problem or opportunity for which you are looking for creative suggestions. Listening to others’ verbalized experiences stimulates memories, ideas, and experiences in participants.