Dr. Avery Russell, assistant professor of biology, attended the national meeting of the Animal Behavior Society (ABS) in August of 2019 in Chicago.
Russell co-hosted a diversity workshop on cultural competency at the meeting.
Dr. Cameron Jones and doctoral student Montrai Spikes also led the event.
“The goal of the workshop was to increase retention of underrepresented minorities in science,” Russell said. “We strived to do this by improving cultural competency education.”
About the workshop
The event opened with talks by professors of animal behavior, Drs. Erica Westerman and Zuleyma Tang-Martinez.
They serve as fellow experts in addressing diversity, equity and inclusion.
“Their talks covered concepts of implicit bias, otherness and manifestations of bias,” Russell said. “They emphasized the importance of being culturally competent.”
Following the talks and with guidance from the co-hosts, invited panelists addressed questions.
These questions related to building cultural competency and practicing inclusivity.
The panelists also provided recommendations for change and support.
- Dr. Patricia Brennan.
- Dr. Rebecca Calisi.
- Dr. Aimee Dunlap.
- Dr. Chris Schell.
- Dr. Zuleyma Tang-Martinez.
- Dr. Erica Westerman.
More than 100 of the approximate 600 attendees at the conference participated in the workshop.
“Our goal was to train scientists at all stages to demystify the field,” Russell said. “We hope we helped scientists see the unique issues facing underrepresented minorities in science.”
ABS is a nonprofit organization that strives to promote and advance the scientific study of animal behavior.
The organization provided $1,000 for the cultural competency workshop.
Access the diversity, equity and inclusion strategies and tools shared at the conference here.