1st Annual BSD Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Retreat

Video highlights of Christina Roman interviewing Valerie Jarrett during our 1st Annual BSD Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice Retreat held on April 23, 2021. Please view the complete video of Jarrett's introduction by Dr. Vela and Olopade, her interview with Christina, and the concluding slideshow and remarks by Provost Lee.

PhD student Christina Roman discusses how to inspire scientists to change the culture with keynote speaker Valerie Jarrett: "Do not underestimate the power of some bright, committed students to effect change."

Christina Roman and Valerie Jarrett talk about how a scientist should approach their work for diversity and inclusion: "I want you to take that same rigor and apply it to the exercise we are talking about now, equity and justice."

Christina Roman asks Valerie Jarrett how she puts her feelings aside to find common ground with people with opposing views.

Keynote speaker Valerie Jarrett with PhD student Christina Roman: "Do what you care about. That’s what I mean by finding your voice. Once you find out what the quiet voice is saying to you, then the challenge is, how do you use it to be a force for good."

Christina Roman asked Valerie Jarrett, "How did you learn to be resilient?"

Valerie Jarrett: "You can't lose sight of the people you are there to serve. If you are driven by service, rather than personal gain or personal aggrandizement, it makes it easier, lots easier. Not easy, easier."

Christina Roman, fellow PhD student Santiago Acero Bedoya, and Valerie Jarrett discuss what we can do as individuals and mentors to inspire children in the community:

More than 200 BSD administrative and research staff, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students and faculty in the basic or translational sciences came together to participate in our inaugural DEIJ retreat. As a reflection of the BSD’s long-term commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in STEM, retreat participants reviewed past progress while looking together towards the future. The retreat provided a space in which we deepened our awareness and understanding of DEIJ issues in the basic sciences, while designing collaborative and effective programing and policies that seek to enhance diversity within the BSD and the greater scientific community. Our keynote speaker for 2021 was Valerie Jarrett, former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, who oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. Jarrett is a senior advisor to the Obama Foundation and a distinguished senior fellow at the University of Chicago Law School. She is also the daughter of the late Dr. James E. Bowman, Professor of Pathology and Genetics at the University of Chicago, the first tenured African-American professor in the BSD. Concluding remarks were delivered by Dr. Ka Yee Lee, Provost of the University of Chicago and David Lee Shillinglaw Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Chemistry.

The retreat convened the many student, staff and faculty-led BSD groups who are discussing and organizing DEIJ efforts, to showcase ongoing and planned initiatives while we leverage and amplify each other’s activities. We also highlighted continuing work that seeks to build strong connections between the BSD and the South Side communities that host the University of Chicago. Below please find brief summaries of the panel sessions and related links mentioned in discussions.   

Panels
Affinity Groups
Civic Engagement
Promising Practices for D&I Comittees
Wellness, Mental Health & Disability Initiatives

Resources (also see links on right)
DJ Speed's ongoing list of ChicagoLand Science Communication and Outreach Organizations

South Side
Homewood Science Center: Explore, Create, Connect
Chicago Science Works
Strive

Looking for a community connection? Reach out to Shaz Razul at the Office of Civic Engagement
Postdocs looking for opportunities? Reach out to the Postdoc Association (Vipul Sharma or Britney Helling)

For more information on UChicago Comprehensive Cancer Center pathway programs to build diversity, reach out to Megan Mekinda
www.uchicagomedicine.org/EYES
www.uchicagomedicine.org/researcHStart

UChicago Medicine Urban Health Initiative (UHI) 
UChicago Broader Impacts Fair

Panelists (In order of appearance)

Eileen Dolan Jimmy Elias Funmi Olopade Monica Vela

Eileen Dolan, PhD,
BDC Co-Chair

Jimmy Elias, MS, Co-Director, Recruitment GRIT Funmi Olopade, MD, Director of the Center for
Clinical Cancer Genetics and Global Health
Monica Vela, MD, Director Bowman Society
Christina Roman Valerie Jarrett Tobias Spears Beatrix McBride
Christina Roman, MS, GRIT Co-Founder, HHMI Gilliam Fellow Valerie Jarrett, JD, Keynote Speaker Tobias Spears, MA, Asst Dean,
Diversity & Inclusion, BSD
Beatrix McBride, MS, BSD Diversity & Inclusion
Megan Rowton Ruth Anne Eatock Iris Romero Victoria Prince
Megan Rowton, PhD, myCHOICE Science & Social Justice Intern Ruth Anne Eatock, PhD, Dean for Faculty Affairs, BSD Iris Romero, MD, Dean for Diversity & Inclusion, BSD Victoria Prince, PhD, Dean of Graduate Affairs, BSD
Grace Schulz Kunle Odunsi Juan Ibarra Samantha Gartner
Grace Schulz, BA, BS, BDC Diversity Awards Panel Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, Director UCC Cancer Center Juan Ibarra, MS, Co-Chair, BDC Samantha Gartner, BS, Integrative Biology D&I committee
Jessica Robertson Shannon Elf Susan Kidwell Meike Lobb-Rabe
Jessica Robertson, BS, Committee on Anti-Racism (COAR) Shannon Elf, PhD, Ben May D&I committee Susan Kidwell, PhD, Committee on Evolutionary Biology D&I committee Meike Lobb-Rabe, BS, Cell and Molecular Biology D&I committee
Sarah Reitzes Meeta Kumar Cody Hernandez Matt Kaufman
Sarah Reitzes, MS, GRIT Disability Team Meeta Kumar, PhD, Director of Student Counseling Service
Mental Health & Identity
Cody Hernandez, BS, GRIT & TAE Co-founder, Gilliam Fellow Matthew Kaufman, PhD, Disability Advocacy
Loren Saulsberry Karen Kim

Ross Mansouri-Rad

Elaine Kouame
Loren Saulsberry, PhD, DiversiTEA Karen Kim, MD, Vice Provost for Research, Director of the Center for Asian Health Equity Ross Mansouri-Rad, BS, GRIT BSD Co-director of Recruitment Elaine Kouame, BS, Black in Immuno
Peggy Mason Sarah Paracha Carlos Cortez Bridget Chak

Peggy Mason, PhD, 
Out Faculty @ BSD

Sarah Paracha, MS, Women in STEM Carlos Cortez, BS, SACNAS Bridget Chak, BA, GRIT: International Students
Kiersten Webster

Adam Hammond

Shaz Rasul DJ Speed
Kiersten Webster, BS, GRIT: LGBTQIA+ Adam Hammond, PhD, BDC Co-Chair, @rtifice Shaz Rasul, MS, Executive Director of Student Civic Engagement Initiatives DJ Speed, MS, HHMI Gilliam Fellow, Local Student Initiatives and Activism
Paul Sereno

Tamica Collins

Juan Apiz Juan Ibarra
Paul Sereno, PhD, Chicago Science Works Tamica Collins, PhD, Postdoctoral Association Juan Apiz, BS, Southside Intiatives
and Covid Education
Juan Ibarra, MS, Co-Chair, BDC
Nancy Schwartz
Nancy Schwartz, PhD, Dean and Director, Postdoctoral Affairs
Co-Director, Grad Affairs, BSD
Ka Yee Lee, PhD, Provost, University of Chicago

 

Retreat Agenda

1:30 - 1:40 - Welcome from BDC and GRIT Leadership

BDC and GRIT leadership welcome all participants and describe the goals and agenda for the 2021 DEIJ retreat.

Eileen Dolan

Eileen Dolan, PhD
Medicine
Co-Chair, BDC

Jimmy Elias

Jimmy Elias, MS
Cell and Molecular Biology
Co-Director, Recruitment
GRIT

1:40 - 2:40 - Keynote Interview with Valerie Jarrett

Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade, Associate Dean for Global Health and the Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics in the Section of Hematology/Oncology, will introduce our keynote speaker, Valerie Jarrett.

Graduate student and GRIT co-founder Christina Roman will then interview Ms. Jarrett about her life, career and experience engaging in DEIJ work. The interview will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience. The session will conclude with remarks from Dr. Monica Vela, Professor of Medicine, Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs, Pritzker School of Medicine and Director, the Bowman Society.

Funmi Olopade

Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MD, FACP
Medicine and Human Genetics
Director of the Center for
Clinical Cancer Genetics and Global Health

Valerie Jarrett

Valerie Jarrett, JD
    Senior Advisor to the Obama Foundation
Distinguished Senior Fellow
at the University of Chicago Law School

Christina Roman

Christina Roman, MS
Biochemistry and
Molecular Biophysics
GRIT Co-founder,
HHMI Gilliam Fellow

Monica Vela

Monica Vela, MD
Medicine
Associate Dean for for Multicultural Affairs,
Pritzker School of Medicine
Director, Bowman Society

2:40 - 3:10 - Concurrent Session 1: Independent Sessions for Faculty, Postdocs/Students and Staff

Retreat participants will be split into three separate Zoom rooms based on their role within the BSD:

Faculty | Building Synergies: Connecting the Dots of Diversity Equity, and Inclusion in Basic Science with Tobias Spears

Tobias Spears

Tobias Spears, MA
Senior Director,
Office of Diversity & Inclusion
Assistant Dean,
Diversity & Inclusion, BSD

Postdocs/graduate students | Career and Professional Advice with Valerie Jarrett

Valerie Jarrett

Valerie Jarrett, JD
Senior Advisor to the Obama Foundation Distinguished Senior Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School

Christina Roman

Christina Roman, MS
Biochemistry and
Molecular Biophysics
GRIT Co-founder, HHMI Gilliam Fellow, Session Facilitator

Staff | Engaging in DEIJ Efforts in the Training Program and Lab with Beatrix McBride

Beatrix McBride

Beatrix McBride, MS
Program Administrator,
 Office of Diversity & Inclusion, BSD

3:15 - 3:50 - Plenary Session: Short Reports

Retreat participants will reconvene in a plenary session to hear a series of short reports on the status of ongoing DEIJ efforts within the BSD. Each short report will last 5 minutes and speakers will answer questions from the audience.

 DEIJ Initiatives at UChicago's
Peer Institutions
Strategizing to Expand the Diversity of Basic Science Faculty within the BSD

Megan Rowton

Megan Rowton, PhD
Pediatrics Postdoctoral Scholar
myCHOICE Science & Social Justice Intern

Ruth Anne Eatock

Ruth Anne Eatock, PhD
Neurobiology
Dean for Faculty Affairs, BSD

Update on Current Faculty Searches

BSD DEI-ships

Iris Romero

Iris Romero, MD
Obstetrics & Gynecology
Dean for Diversity & Inclusion, BSD

Victoria Prince

Victoria Prince, PhD
Organismal Biology & Anatomy
Dean of Graduate Affairs, BSD

Diversity Awards for
Graduate Students and Postdocs

Comprehensive Cancer Center
DEIJ efforts

Grace Schulz

Grace Schulz, BA, BS
Development, Regeneration
& Stem Cell Biology
BDC Diversity Awards Panel

Kunle Odunsi

Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Director of UChicago
Comprehensive Cancer Center

3:50 - 4:35 - Concurrent Session 2: Panel Discussions on Promising Practices for D&I Committees & Wellness, Mental Health and Disabilities

Retreat participants will be invited to choose one of two concurrently-run panel discussions to attend in separate Zoom rooms. Panel switching will be permitted during these sessions, and attendees will also be encouraged to ask the panelists questions.
 

Panel 1: Promising Practices for D&I committees: approaches, goals and achievements

Representatives from successful D&I committees with the BSD will discuss how they established their working groups, aligned their values and goals, and built support within their department while dealing with challenges and celebrating successes along the way.

Panelists:

Juan Ibarra

Juan Ibarra, MS
Cancer Biology
Co-Chair, BDC
Panel Facilitator

Samantha Gartner

Samantha Gartner, BS
Integrative Biology
Integrative Biology D&I committee

Jessica Robertson

Jessica Robertson, BS
Senior Clinical Research Coordinator, Department of Medicine
 Committee on Anti-Racism (COAR)

Shannon Elf

Shannon Elf, PhD
Ben May Department for Cancer Research
Ben May D&I committee

Susan Kidwell

Susan Kidwell, PhD
Geophysical Sciences
Committee on Evolutionary Biology D&I committee

Meike Lobb-Rabe

Meike Lobb-Rabe, BS
Cell and Molecular Biology
Cell and Molecular Biology D&I committee

 

Panel 2: Promising Practices in wellness, mental health and disabilities: approaches, barriers, goals and achievements

BSD members will discuss various wellness and disability inititaves developed for the BSD and the greater UChicago communities.

Panelists:

Sarah Reitzes

Sarah Reitzes, MS
Mathematics
GRIT Disability Team
Panel Facilitator and Panelist
 

Meeta Kumar

Meeta Kumar, PhD
Director of Student Counseling Service
Mental Health & Identity
UChicago Resources 

Cody Hernandez

Cody Hernandez, BS
Cell and Molecular Biology
GRIT & TAE Co-founder

HHMI Gilliam Fellow
Accountability in Academia

Matt Kaufman

Matthew Kaufman, PhD
Organismal Biology and Anatomy
Disability Advocacy

Loren Saulsberry

Loren Saulsberry, PhD
Public Health Sciences
DiversiTEA

Karen Kim

Karen Kim, MD
Medicine
Vice Provost for Research,
Director of the Center for Asian Health Equity

4:40 - 5:20 - Concurrent Session 3: Panel Discussions on Affinity Groups & Civic Engagement on the South Side

Retreat participants will be invited to choose one of two concurrently-run panel discussions to attend in separate Zoom rooms. Panel switching will be permitted during these sessions, and attendees will also be encouraged to ask questions of the panelists.
 

Panel 1: Affinity Groups

Representatives from diverse affinity groups will discuss their experiences in STEM fields, as well as their groups' goals and initiatives.

Panelists:

Ross Mansouri-Rad

Ross Mansouri-Rad, BS
Neurobiology
GRIT BSD Co-director of Recruitment
Panel Facilitator

Elaine Kouame

Elaine Kouame, BS
Immunology
Black in Immuno
 

Peggy Mason

Peggy Mason, PhD
Neurobiology
Out Faculty @ BSD

Sarah Paracha

Sarah Paracha, MS
Cell and Molecular Biology
Women in STEM

Carlos Cortez

Carlos Cortez, BS
Cell and Molecular Biology SACNAS
 

Bridget Chak

Bridget Chak, BA
Genetics, Genomics & Systems Biology
GRIT: International Students

Kiersten Webster

Kiersten Webster, BS
ISTP - Metabolism
GRIT: LGBTQIA+

 

 

Panel 2: Civic Engagement on the South Side: what can we learn and what can we give?

Panelists will discuss ongoing engagement, advocacy and activism efforts linking the BSD to UChicago's South Side communities. Panel attendees are also encouraged to contribute by describing any initiatives in which they are involved.

Panelists:

Adam Hammond

Adam Hammond, PhD
Biophysical Sciences
Co-Chair, BDC
@rtifice
Panel Facilitator and Panelist

Shaz Rasul

Shaz Rasul, MS
Executive Director of Student Civic Engagement Initiatives, UChicago Office of Civic Engagement

DJ Speed

DJ Speed, MS
Cell and Molecular Biology
HHMI Gilliam Fellow
Local Student Initiatives and Activism

Paul Sereno

Paul Sereno, PhD
Organismal Biology and Anatomy
Chicago Science Works

Tamica Collins

Tamica Collins, PhD
Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology
Postdoctoral Association
 

Juan Apiz

Juan Apiz, BSA
Southside Intiatives
and Covid Education

5:20 - 5:50 - Wrap-up Plenary Session: The past, present and future of DEI efforts in the BSD

Retreat participants will reconvene for a brief summary of progress made in the the past year, followed by a concise history of DEIJ efforts within the BSD. We will then end the retreat with a look towards the future of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in STEM.

Juan Ibarra

Juan Ibarra, MS
Cancer Biology
Co-Chair, BDC

Nancy Schwartz

Nancy Schwartz, PhD
Pediatrics
Dean and Director,
Postdoctoral Affairs
Co-Director,
Graduate Affairs, BSD
 

Ka Yee Lee, PhD
Chemistry
Provost, University of
Chicago

 
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