At the Board of Directors meeting in July 2020, the DEI Committee submitted a working list of ideas for improving DEI in SSAR [pdf].
The DEI Committee has continued to grow this list, and SSAR has begun putting some of these ideas into practice.
Here is a list of actions SSAR has taken to improve DEI, as of January 2022:
- 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
- Updating symposium proposal guidelines to 1) require a description of how the symposium will broaden participation of underrepresented groups at JMIH and/or in herpetology more generally, and 2) encourage symposium organizers to apply for additional external funding (e.g., NSF) to support DEI activities and travel support for students from underrepresented groups