This post originally appeared on the rOpenSci blog, and is cross-posted with permission from the authors, Stefanie Butland, Karthik Ram, Noam Ross, and Maëlle Salmon. We’re excited to be partnering with the rOpenSci team to create a champions program to support new leaders in their community. Read on for more background on the project.
rOpenSci has been awarded new funding as part of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Open Science program’s education and capacity building strategy. This $400K grant will support a new project to enable more members of historically excluded groups to participate in, benefit from, and become leaders in the R, research software engineering, and open source and open science communities.
In October of 2021, CSCCE’s Lou Woodley and Katie Pratt hosted a session at the Inclusive SciComm Symposium to talk about inclusive language. As a result of that session, and several follow-up co-working sessions with participants and members of the CSCCE community of practice, today we’re releasing a new “active glossary” to support community managers as they work to build inclusive and welcoming communities in STEM.
You can read more about the session at the Inclusive SciComm Symposium here. In this post, we focus on the glossary itself, the process we employed to create it, and our plans for a larger glossary on all aspects of STEM community management.
This month marked the beginning of a new collaboration for CSCCE, thanks to funding from the National Science Foundation’s Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program (NSF grant number 2135830).
We will be working with partner organizations in the data science domain to support a series of working groups and workshops for instructors at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs).
Last week we took part in the 2021 Inclusive Sci Comm Symposium (ISCS21), and Katie and Lou hosted a session focused on using inclusive language in STEM community building. In this post, we offer a short recap of that session, and also highlight a new effort we’d like your help with: A glossary to help support community managers as they work to build inclusive, accessible, and engaging communities in STEM.
The Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion special interest group organises a series of interactive seminars on issues facing community managers who want to build equitable and diverse cultures in their communities and networks.
This guest blog post, written by Kate Baker and Emily Lescak, recaps the group’s 27 April 2021 seminar, in which 55 people from a range of countries discussed challenges and good practices in facilitating conversations around DEI.
CSCCE Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are member-led groups focused on specific topics of scientific community management within CSCCE’s community of practice (request to join). You can find out more about CSCCE SIGs here. The CSCCE Diversity, Equity and Inclusion SIG is convened by Cassandra van Gould, Arielle Bennett-Lovell and Kate Baker, with significant support from an organising committee and the wider community. Community members can join the Slack channel #diversity_equity_inclusion_sig to get involved.
On the 24th of November the first session of the CSCCE’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Special Interest Group (DEI SIG) took place. In this guest blog post, Esther Plomp and Arielle Bennett-Lovell, who co-convened the session, recap the meeting. You can also watch the three presentations in full.
During the session, we considered the concept of decolonisation and how it can be put into practice by both researchers and scientific community managers. Decolonisation is both a reflection on the academy’s relationship to lands and people occupied by colonial powers, and the process of reconsidering how this relationship is manifested in a way that restores an equitable power balance. It is not a single action, or a programme, but a long term process requiring input and engagement from everyone.
To gain a better perspective about the issue, we invited three speakers to show their perspective on decolonising science, and to offer some solutions to ensuring that the scientific research ecosystem is equitable. Below follows a summary of the talks given by Dr. Kate Baker, Dr. Thomas Mboa and Dr. Felicia Fricke.
The rationale for working groups and special interest groups
Why might a community decide to establish working groups and/or special interest groups? In an earlier post we discussed community-level programming – activities that are general enough that they are designed to be of interest and value to all members and to create opportunities to get to know one another and identify commonalities. However, within any large enough community, there will also be differentiation into sub-groups who want to focus more deeply on a specific topic – perhaps as an area of professional development or something that supplements a project they need to deliver in their own community role. This differentiation into sub-groups also creates opportunities for emerging leaders within a community – those who are highly engaged and wish to take on more responsibility for advancing the overall mission of the community. It’s this combination of scaling, through the activities and empowerment of these emergent leaders, and dedicated group work that greatly enhances the ability of any community to make progress towards its overall mission. For these activities to be successful, community management is nonetheless needed to support emergent leaders and their groups in their activities.
In addition to our working groups which are often focused on producing a specific output – and which may then close once the group’s goals have been achieved – CSCCE special interest groups (SIGs) are more open-ended opportunities for members to explore a community engagement topic.
Starting in mid-2020, we’re trialing a small number of member-led special interest groups to determine how best staff can support their success while enabling members to pursue their own interests.
Data science SIG
Co-chairs: Alycia Crall and Steve van Tuyl
Channel in the CSCCE Slack: #data_science_sig
About the group: The Data Science SIG is a space for community managers from data science, data science adjacent, and data science interested communities to gather and share activities, updates, and observations. We are especially interested in learning how cross-community information sharing and activities can raise up all of our communities.
Co-chairs: Kate Baker, Arielle Bennett-Lovell and Cass Gould van Praag
Channel in the CSCCE Slack: #diversity_equity_inclusion_sig
About the group: The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion SIG is a space for community managers to share experiences, ideas, and resources about diversity, equity and inclusion in scientific communities. We want to create a space to talk about what we can do in our own communities and organizations to amplify the voices, stories, and emotions that need to be heard and tackle some of the structural barriers that can prevent equitable participation in science.
This month’s call challenged us all to think hard about creating and supporting inclusive communities, particularly virtually. Led by the CEFP 2019 DEI Project Team, we explored four topics related to this and used Zoom’s breakout room capability to give participants the opportunity to have small group discussions.
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.
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