At the Board of Directors meeting in July 2020, the DEI Committee submitted a working list of ideas for improving DEI in SSAR [pdf of initial idea list].
The DEI Committee has continued to grow this list, and SSAR has begun putting some of these ideas into practice – see below for actions taken so far.
In 2021, SSAR conducted a membership diversity survey. Here are links to the full report and a shortened version:
List of actions SSAR has taken to improve DEI, as of May 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 [link to statement]
- Creating and disseminating a survey in spring 2021 to assess membership diversity and collect member feedback, and making the report publicly available in spring 2022 (see above for links)
- Updating symposium proposal guidelines in spring 2022 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
- Participating in an SSAR/ASIH/AES/HL joint fundraiser in spring 2022 to offset the costs of childcare to parents who would like to attend JMIH 2022 in Spokane, Washington. We also plan to support childcare into the future by establishing an endowment, so please stay tuned for long-term fundraising efforts.