The SSAR Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) was created with several charges, including assessing membership diversity to establish benchmarks, and launching initiatives to make the Society more inclusive and to broaden participation. The DEIC works closely with the Board of Directors and committee chairs to infuse DEI strategies throughout the Society, including SSAR governance, participation in our annual meetings, and publishing in our journals.
At the Board of Directors meeting in July 2020, the DEIC submitted a working list of ideas for improving DEI in SSAR [pdf].
We have continued to grow this list and to begin putting some of these ideas into practice.
Here is a list of actions SSAR has taken to improve DEI, as of spring 2021:
- Sponsoring (with funding) a symposium on DEI in Ichthyology and Herpetology, originally scheduled for summer 2020 and postponed until summer 2022 due to the pandemic
- Adding candidate diversity statements to the ballot for 2020 officer elections
- Issuing an official statement committing to equity, diversity, and inclusion as foundational and pervasive principles in all Society matters
- Creating and disseminating a survey to assess membership diversity and collect member feedback
Co-chairs: Jennifer M. Deitloff, Robert E. Espinoza, and Jessica L. Tingle
Members: Itzue Caviedes Solis, Kate Jackson, Fausto Mendez de la Cruz, Ann V.
Paterson, Evan S. H. Quah, Phillip Skipwith, and Gregory Watkins-Colwell