Science is stronger when more voices are at the table. Learn about the Academy’s ongoing commitment to becoming a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible place to work, visit, learn, and grow.

As a public cultural institution dedicated to inquiry, exploration, and education, the Academy has a responsibility to critically assess how we benefit from and contribute to inequity. Beyond assessment, we need to act: By listening to, learning from, and lifting up the communities in our midst that suffer disproportionately from systemic racism, structural inequality, and environmental injustice, we can help everyone feel welcomed by science, not just an elite few.

We invite you to explore this page for updates on how the Academy is advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and access at all levels of our organization, from our administrative offices and labs, to the museum floor, to research sites around the world.

Why DEIA?

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA) are more than just Academy core values—they're requirements for protecting and regenerating our planet. By ensuring that all people, especially Black, Indigenous, Mixed-race People of Color (BIMPOC), LGBTQ+, women, and people with disabilities, feel safe and welcome as staff, guests, and partners, we nurture the new ideas and fresh perspectives that will help us fight climate change, stop biodiversity loss, and inspire current and future scientists, activists, and educators.

0

Reflecting, assessing, listening

After police violence against African Americans and racist attacks on Asian American and Pacific Islanders roiled the nation in 2020 and 2021, the Academy invited The Mosaic Collaborative (TMC) to assess our DEIA efforts through a series of surveys, interviews, and workshops. Often difficult, always illuminating, the conversations facilitated by TMC are bringing our institutional blind spots to light and creating a safe space for staff to air grievances, share stories, and find common ground.

0

Making science anti-racist

As a leading scientific institution, the Academy must cultivate an inclusive environment to conduct, share, and champion diversity in science for staff, visitors, and the global community. Read the statement drafted by scientists within our Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability (IBSS), along with updates on our progress toward making science equitable and actively anti-racist at the Academy—and within the scientific community—now and in the future.

0

Taking action together

Because our road to improved diversity, equity, inclusion, and access is still very much under construction, we're excited to extend our engagement with TMC to develop and implement a long-term DEIA plan. Click below for a detailed summary of our work in 2021, and expand the drawers for more updates.

0
Contact us

Thank you for your interest in DEIA at the Academy. Please feel free to share your thoughts or connect with us on social media via the links below. 

DEIA updates

Because diversity, equity, inclusion, and access benefit everyone, it’s important that everyone can see what we're working on. We’ll share important updates and milestones on DEIA at the Academy here.

 

2022

August

  • Coming soon: IBSS Seminar Series: The Fieldwork That We Envision: Tune in on August 25 at 2 pm for a lecture by UC-Berkeley PhD candidate Valeria Ramírez Castañeda and Assistant Professor Rebecca Tarvin on action-oriented approaches to making field biology more equitable.
  • IBSS Seminar Series: Eugenics: How Racism Screwed Statistics: Tune in on August 18 at 2 pm for a lecture by Academy curator Dr. Peter Roopnarine on the racist origins of modern statistics—and how statistical theories might be remade in a more ethical, equitable, and scientifically sound manner.

July

  • IBSS Seminar Series: Training Future Scientists in Madagascar: Watch this free, livestreamed lecture presented by Academy scientist Dr. Brian Fisher on the Madagascar Biodiversity Center’s novel approach to training local students to become better researchers and to ensure students benefit from international collaborations.

June

  • IBSS Seminar Series: Slaving Science: Natural Historical Collecting and the British Slave Trade: Watch this free, livestreamed lecture presented by Dr. Kate Murphy of Cal Poly on the scientific specimens gathered via the eighteenth-century British transatlantic slave trade.
  • IBSS Seminar Series: The Problematic Legacy of David Starr Jordan: Watch this free, livestreamed lecture presented by Academy scientist Kate Montana on the problematic legacy of former Academy president and curator David Starr Jordan (1851-1931)—and his leadership role in the American eugenics movement.

May

  • All-staff TMC workshop #14: Tying it All Together: Our final workshop with TMC was a review of all 13 prior workshops, and an opportunity for staff to share meaningful moments and learnings from the experience.

April

  • All-staff TMC workshop #13: Colonial History of the Academy: The Academy’s current commitment to DEIA stands in stark contrast to the shocking views held by many of our predecessors. This workshop, facilitated by a group of Academy staff, disclosed the racist, sexist, and xenophobic beliefs held by former Academy president David Starr Jordan and other prominent staff scientists and curators—and revealed how effortlessly “science” was used to justify eugenics and white supremacy throughout the 19th and much of the 20th century.

March

  • All-staff TMC workshop #12: Identity & Intersectionality: In this workshop, staff explored elements of their own identities (ethnicity, country of origin, gender, disability, etc.) in small groups and individually—and shared personal stories about amplifying or suppressing certain aspects of their identities in different social or professional settings.
  • All-staff TMC workshop #11: Disability Justice, Part II: India Harville returned for another workshop, this time focusing on the intersectionality of disability and other marginalized identities, the lack of representation of disabled people in the media, and evolving the concept of access from something we “have” to do to something we want to do.

February

  • All-staff TMC workshop #10: Disability Justice, Part I: Disability justice activist and TMC consultant India Harville led a workshop on the history of the disability justice movement, the importance of recognizing and combating ableism inside and outside the workplace, and helpful tips to ensure access needs are met.

January

  • All-staff TMC workshop #9: The 4 I’s of Oppression, Part II: This workshop dug into the historic and contemporary complicity of scientific, cultural, and governmental institutions in perpetuating racial myths that advance notions of white supremacy.
2021

December

  • 2021 year in review: Explore highlights and insights from our first year of collaboration with TMC.
  • All-staff TMC workshop #8: The 4 I’s of Oppression, Part I: This workshop explored the “4 I’s of Oppression” framework—ideological, interpersonal, institutional, and internalized—and how the interrelationship between each “I” contributes to enduring racism. The workshop also introduced the term “misogynoir,” or the specific type of anti-Black misogyny that Black women experience.

November

  • All-staff TMC workshop #7: White Supremacy Culture: Some scholars believe certain aspects of workplace culture have their roots in white supremacy. In this workshop, we explored the history of white supremacy and brainstormed strategies to counteract its impact on our personal and professional lives.

October

  • All-staff TMC workshop #6: Power and Privilege: This workshop explored how bias, prejudice, and power combine to create inequities in society and the workplace.

September

  • All-staff TMC workshop #5: Scope of Work Re-grounding and Qualitative Report Q&A: TMC summarized the findings from its 6-month listening tour of the Academy and introduced its qualitative report and assessment of our human resources policies, procedures, and documents. We will share a summary of the findings later this fall.

August

  • All-staff TMC workshop #4: Interrupting Microaggressions and Allyship: Microaggressions are toxic to workplace trust and, ultimately, productivity. This workshop provided staff with tools to interrupt microaggressions in progress to help build allyship, accompliceship, and a more supportive work environment.

July

  • All-staff TMC workshop #3: Microaggressions: Biases give rise to microaggressions. This workshop included experiential and storytelling elements to help staff identify and contextualize microassaults, microinsults, and microinvalidations in the workplace.

June

  • All-staff TMC workshop #2: Biases: Bias is corrosive to workplace relationships, yet it’s all too common. In this workshop, we explored how the three types of relational bias (implicit bias, similarity bias, and confirmation bias) are created—and the impacts they have when left unchecked.

May

  • All-staff TMC workshop #1: Cultural Humility vs. Cultural Competence: Cultural institutions like the Academy have a responsibility to not just acknowledge their DEIA deficits, but actively work to replace harmful practices with healthy ones. In this workshop, we discussed where the Academy might land on the DEIA spectrum.
  • IBSS’s Anti-Racism Action Plan: The Academy’s Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability (IBSS) published its Anti-Racism Action Plan webpage detailing its 14 DEIA commitments and progress against those goals.

March

  • AAPI solidarity statement: In the wake of a series of racist attacks against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, the Academy published a statement of solidarity and a call to end anti-AAPI violence, racism, and acts of hate.

February-July

  • TMC listening tour, interviews, and surveys: From February to July of 2021, The Mosaic Collaborative (TMC) embarked on a comprehensive listening tour to provide a forum for staff to share personal and professional experiences with race and racism inside and outside the Academy. In total, over 240 staff members participated in listening sessions and group and individual interviews and 259 staff responded to an internal survey, providing TMC with insights and data to inform recommendations for advancing DEIA at the Academy.

January

  • A warm welcome to The Mosaic Collaborative: After an extensive 6-month search involving internal and community stakeholders, the Academy hired The Mosaic Collaborative (TMC), a local, BIPOC-women-owned consultancy, to lead our DEIA work.
  • Staff demographics report: The Academy collects voluntarily shared demographic information from every new hire and releases a summary of the data every year. View the report shared in January 2021.
2020

December

  • Sharing our Racial Equity Action Plan: In partnership with the City and County of San Francisco’s Office of Racial Equity, the Academy published a document summarizing our current, ongoing, and future efforts to combat racial disparities in hiring, retention, promotion, disciplinary practices, and more.

July

  • IBSS’ Anti-Racism Statement: Staff members from the Academy’s Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability (IBSS) along with other external partners published a public statement advocating for stronger anti-racist policies at the Academy and in the sciences. This statement evolved into IBSS’ Anti-Racist Action Plan webpage, published in May 2021.

June

  • Black Lives Matter solidarity statement: In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Dr. Scott Sampson, the Academy’s executive director, shared a statement of support for Black Lives Matter and a renewed commitment to advancing racial equity at the Academy and ensuring equitable access to the sciences for all communities.
  • Starting the search for a DEIA consultant: Recognizing the need for external perspectives on assessing and implementing the Academy’s existing and proposed DEIA initiatives and creating safe spaces for staff dialogue, a team of Academy leadership and staff kick off the search for a local, Black-owned DEIA consultancy.