Launching a New Community as a New Community Manager

This past year, Ellen Bechtol launched a brand new community as a brand new community manager. In this guest post she reflects on how that went.

This past year, I had the opportunity and privilege to launch a brand new community as a brand new community manager. And I think it went reasonably well! Here’s why:

Joining a Community of Practice

The Multimessenger Diversity Network (MDN) is a community of representatives from multimessenger astrophysics research collaborations focused on increasing diversity in the field. As a community of practice (CoP), the MDN is “a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” (Wenger-Trayner & Wenger-Trayner). I find it fitting that to run a CoP I joined a CoP for community managers, the Community Engagement Fellows Program (CEFP) and subsequent CSCCE CoP. Within weeks of starting in my new role as a community manager, I applied to the CEFP with a strong sense that being part of it would be crucial to successfully launching the MDN. After all, I was stepping into a new role for a new community and was feeling rather lost as to where to begin. Although much of the content from the early CEFP trainings felt out of scope for the MDN, connecting with other community managers (CMs) and getting introduced to the foundations of community management from the perspective of mature communities was unbelievably helpful. Even more helpful were continued interactions, online and at subsequent trainings, with other Fellows. The collective resource of experiences from so many CMs in so many different types of organizations has been most valuable.

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April’s community call – Exploring diversity, equity and inclusion

Our next CSCCE Community Call is on Wednesday 22nd April at 2pm Eastern. Join us to discuss running inclusive online events and find out more about the CEFP 2019 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Project Team’s work.

This month we’ll include a breakout style activity as well as presentations during the first hour of the call, and then a 30 minute open discussion for anyone to share their thoughts and experiences.


Join us for April’s community call on diversity, equity and inclusion considerations as a scientific community engagement manager. Image credit: CSCCE
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Address Your Bias, Call BS, and Broaden your Networks: Interview with Monica Feliu-Mojer

Address Your Bias, Call BS, and Broaden your Networks: Interview with Monica Feliu-Mojer

 

As the CEFP 2017 cohort’s final installment in our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) series, we interview Monica Feliu-Mojer, an award-winning PhD scientist-turned-communicator who leads communications and outreach for Ciencia Puerto Rico (CienciaPR), a global community of more than 10,000 scientists, students, educators, and allies transforming science education in Puerto Rico, democratizing science, and training young scientific leaders. Monica also works with the non-profit iBiology, leading science communication trainings and producing video stories that explore the intersection of the culture, identity, and research of underrepresented scientists.

 

Check it out: Monica is guest-editing a special issue on “Inclusive Science Communication in Theory and Practice” for Frontiers in Communications with Erika Check Hayden, Thomas Hayden and Raychelle Burks, inviting research papers, case studies and essays. 

Monica Feliu-Mojer
Monica Feliu-Mojer

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“Use Books, Not People” & Other Advice from a Community Building Research Librarian

“Use Books, Not People” & Other Advice from a Community Building Research Librarian

Today we continue our series of regular posts for science community managers interested in diversity, equity and inclusion. This installment features an interview conducted by Rosanna Volchok, the New York Academy of Sciences.

Additional series coordinators are Jennifer Davison, Urban@UW, University of Washington, Josh Knackert, UW-Madison Neuroscience Training Program, and Marsha Lucas, Society for Developmental Biology. You can find all of the posts in the series here.

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Curating Diverse Content that Represents Your Community

Today we continue our series of regular posts on the Trellis blog for science community managers interested in diversity, equity and inclusion. This installment was authored by Marsha Lucas, Society for Developmental Biology, Melissa Varga, UCS Science Network Community Manager and Partnerships Coordinator, and Josh Knackert, UW-Madison Neuroscience Training Program. Additional series coordinators are Jennifer Davison, Urban@UW, University of Washington, and Rosanna Volchok, The New York Academy of Sciences. You can find all of the posts in the series here.

For the scientific community manager who values diversity, equity, and inclusion, seeking out diverse content and diverse content creators is of utmost importance.  Your content strategy, whether for written (e.g., blog posts, discussion threads), visual (e.g., videos, social media posts), or in-person gatherings (e.g., journal clubs, conferences), is an expression of what your community values.

Create a space for your community's stories to be told. Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/microphone-performance-stage-2574511/
Create a space for your community’s stories to be told.
Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/microphone-performance-stage-2574511/

Here are five tips for broadening your community content.

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Resource Rabbit Hole: Part I

Today we continue our series of regular posts for science community managers interested in diversity, equity and inclusion. This installment was authored by Josh Knackert, UW-Madison Neuroscience Training Program.

Additional series coordinators are Jennifer Davison, Urban@UW, University of Washington, Marsha Lucas, Society for Developmental Biology and Rosanna Volchok, The New York Academy of Sciences. You can find all of the posts in the series here.

Through our roles as community managers, and especially during our preparation for this series, we came across lots of great resources, examples, and tools. We will intermittently highlight these in a recurring segment we’re calling the Resource Rabbit Hole. While our posts are never meant to be a deep dive, we certainly like to encourage readers and collaborators to learn as much as they can about these topics. We hope these posts will help you delve further into areas that you find especially interesting. Also, feel free to share your favorite resources with us at info@cscce.org.

What resources have you found useful? Image Credit: https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/5307228
What resources have you found useful?
Image Credit: https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/5307228

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Co-intentional Co-mmunications: Strategies for creating true inclusive communities

Today we continue our series of regular posts on the Trellis blog for science community managers interested in diversity, equity and inclusion. This installment is an invited guest post from Yasmin Marrero, Program Assistant, Global STEM Alliance, The New York Academy of Sciences. Series coordinators are Jennifer Davison, Urban@UW, University of Washington, Marsha Lucas, Society for Developmental Biology, Josh Knackert UW-Madison Neuroscience Training Program, and Rosanna Volchok, The New York Academy of Sciences. You can find all of the posts in the series here.

As a first-generation Latina and neuroscientist by training, I have been in few spaces where I could talk freely of my emotions and my experiences without fear of exclusion or misalignment from my community—allowed to be my whole self. More often, I was in communities where I was only able to be seen and valued by things related to my work, forcing me to disconnect and inhibit other parts of myself. It was in the communities where I could be my whole self and coexist with others that my work truly transformed: my creativity thrived, my research enhanced, my connections and relationships flourished.

How are you creating inclusive communities? Image credit: Taomeister https://www.flickr.com/photos/taomeister/36417528694/in/photostream/
How are you creating inclusive communities?
Image credit: Taomeister
https://www.flickr.com/photos/taomeister/36417528694/in/photostream/

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Including underrepresented community-members in planning for diversity, equity and inclusion

Today we continue our series of regular posts on the Trellis blog for science community managers interested in diversity, equity and inclusion. This installment was authored by Jennifer Davison, Urban@UW, University of Washington. Additional series coordinators are Marsha Lucas, Society for Developmental Biology, Josh Knackert UW-Madison Neuroscience Training Program, and Rosanna Volchok, The New York Academy of Sciences. You can find all of the posts in the series here.

How are you ensuring diverse participation? Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/oregondot/10314223086/
How are you ensuring diverse participation?
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/oregondot/10314223086/

As community managers, we may have experience in and appreciation for engaging our community in order to develop more innovative and robust ideas: how to tackle a complex research question, compelling new ways to visualize results, or a particularly timely topic for a conference panel discussion. We may know that more perspectives often leads to better outcomes. We can apply this knowledge in our planning for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). How? By welcoming and prioritizing the perspectives of community-members from underrepresented groups in this planning. In this post, we explore some ideas for doing just that.

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Community Guidelines: A Key Component of Your Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Toolbox

Today we continue our series of regular posts on the Trellis blog for science community managers interested in diversity, equity and inclusion. This installment was authored by Marsha Lucas, Society for Developmental Biology. Additional series coordinators are Jennifer Davison, Urban@UW, University of Washington, Josh Knackert UW-Madison Neuroscience Training Program, and Rosanna Volchok, The New York Academy of Sciences. You can find all of the posts in the series here.

Community managers are in a unique position to help foster diversity, equity, and inclusion within their communities. One of the tools at their disposal is the establishment of community guidelines.

What message are you sending to your community members with your community guidelines? Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mootreelife/5364190913/
What message are you sending to your community members with your community guidelines?
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mootreelife/5364190913/

Community guidelines set the tone for community interactions by clearly stating what the community is about and what it values. They lay out expectations for community members and consequences for failing to meet those expectations. This is the perfect place to codify an organization’s beliefs around diversity, equity, and inclusion, and highlight behaviors that cultivate creativity, productivity, and collaboration.

It is most effective if guidelines are created early in a community’s life cycle before a conflict arises. However, it is completely acceptable to create or revise community guidelines as times change, or in response to an issue that bubbles up in order to move your community in a more positive and inclusive direction.

Below are a few points to keep in mind when drafting community guidelines to ensure they wholly represent your community.

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Defining Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity to Build Better STEM Communities

Today we continue our series of regular posts on the Trellis blog for science community managers interested in diversity, equity and inclusion. This installment was authored by Rosanna Volchok, The New York Academy of Sciences. Additional series coordinators are Jennifer Davison, Urban@UW, University of Washington, Josh Knackert UW-Madison Neuroscience Training Program, and Marsha Lucas, Society for Developmental Biology. You can find all of the posts in the series here.

How clear our your diversity, equity and inclusion values? Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ekcragg/5896894236/
How clear are your diversity, equity and inclusion values?
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ekcragg/5896894236/

In our first post, we introduced the concept of the science community manager as an agent of change. The ideals of inclusion and representation are so deeply woven into the fabric of community that community managers are thus uniquely positioned to help maximize diversity and foster equity. But what exactly do we mean when we talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion? And, more importantly, why do these concepts matter when we seek to build community within and across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields? In this post we’ll examine these three core terms in more detail.

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