Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)
MISSION, VALUES, & RESPONSIBILITIES
The Georgetown Department of Psychology’s DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) Committee is steadfastly committed to fostering an environment where every individual is valued, respected, and provided with equitable opportunities to thrive. Recognizing that true excellence in academia and research can only be achieved through diverse perspectives, our mission is to harness lived experiences and scientific evidence in our drive toward creating a genuinely inclusive academic community. By critically examining our existing policies and practices, promoting ongoing education, and engaging in open dialogue, we aim to ensure all members of our community can flourish and contribute their unique insights to the field of psychology.
- Respect: Valuing and considering all voices and perspectives within the Psychology Department.
- Accountability: Regularly assessing our initiatives, addressing areas of concern, and celebrating our successes.
- Collaboration: Working hand-in-hand with faculty, students, staff, and other departments to champion DEIB goals.
- Transparency: Keeping the community informed, involved, and empowered in our journey towards greater diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging at the Department of Psychology.
- Support: Helping all individuals in our community thrive by supporting their aspirations via events, informational campaigns, and fellowships.
- Developing both short and long-term strategies for promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
- Bringing both scientific evidence and lived experience to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
- Identifying those policies and practices that disempower, disenfranchise, and disadvantage members of our community, and replacing them with policies and practices that create a just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive environment.
- Providing opportunities for training and development both internally and through collaborations with campus partners.
- Assessing and monitoring the climate in the department to re-evaluate goals and update initiatives.
- Creating evidence-based policy proposals for department consideration and voting, especially in the two areas of (1) recruitment/retention of faculty/staff/students, and (2) education/training of both graduate and undergraduate students.
- Working with other departmental committees to promote DEIB goals and ideals across departmental activities, including teaching, research, recruitment, and events.
Lab Matching Tool. Volunteering in a research lab can prepare students for success in any career. Research assistants develop transferable skills and can get stronger recommendations for jobs, graduate school, and medical school. Recognizing that students often don’t know where to start, we developed the Lab Matching Tool to help students discover labs that match their interests and learn how to apply. Students can also find more information about each lab and how to apply here.
Psychology Department Summer Research Fellowships. Recognizing that lack of funding may be a significant barrier for some students to get research experience, the Psychology Department has secured funding to support several students as they engage in research over the summer. The Summer Research Fellowships are intended to: a) increase access to research for students who may face barriers to obtaining research training during the school year, and b) foster diversity in research settings. Students receiving these fellowships will engage in directly mentored research with a psychology faculty member. Applications are typically open in March of each year and will be announced by email to all current Psychology majors.
Climate Survey. Given our goals to monitor the departmental climate, the Committee is implementing a survey for all undergraduate students enrolled in psychology classes. The survey will allow us to track the effectiveness of our initiatives over time and identify other areas of concern for future initiatives.
Welcoming International Students. The Committee is currently working with the Psychology Graduate Program Directors and current international graduate students to provide more resources to international applicants and incoming international students.
ADDRESSING BIAS AND DISCRIMINATION
In a university setting, where the exchange of diverse ideas is fundamental, it’s crucial to navigate the delicate balance between fostering open dialogue and recognizing instances of unprofessional conduct, including bias. Universities are critical spaces for the exchange of diverse ideas and perspectives, making them reliant on a culture of respect and professionalism. Embracing the principle of ‘cura personalis’ or care for the whole person, members of our academic community are encouraged to practice empathy and understanding, especially when engaging with differing viewpoints.
Respectful conduct is essential, even in the face of disagreement. If someone in our community acts in a manner that is disrespectful, unprofessional, or biased, consider the following steps:
1. Direct Communication: Consider addressing the issue directly with the individual involved. Often, individuals may not realize the impact their words or actions have on others. Expressing how their comments or behavior made you feel can foster learning, growth, and understanding. It’s also possible to have this discussion in a group setting if others were involved or affected, or you can bring a friend or peer for support.
2. Seek Advice and Support: If direct communication is not feasible or doesn’t resolve the issue, seek guidance and support from others. This could be an academic advisor, a mentor, a member of this committee, or any other trusted figure in the department or the university. The ombuds office can also provide a confidential, informal, and impartial resource for students who may have a University-related concern or problem. They can offer advice, support, and possibly mediate the situation.
3. Document the Incident: Keep a record of what happened, including dates, times, and details of the incident(s). This documentation can be crucial if the situation escalates or if you need to provide evidence of the discriminatory behavior.
4. Utilize Formal Channels: If the issue persists or is severe, consider using formal channels such as filing a bias or discrimination report with the University’s IDEAA Office. They can investigate the matter and take appropriate action, including mediation. This step is especially important in cases of systemic or repeated discrimination.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
There are several ways for you to get involved and help us advance DEIB efforts in our department and in our broader community.
1. Join one of our DEIB meetings. We have meetings every other week throughout the semester, and guests are welcome upon request to sit in and contribute. Please contact Dr. Kushlev (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested.
2. Attend DEIB events throughout the school year. Our committee puts together programming and holds a number of events that promote DEIB ideals. Attending these events is a great way to get involved.
3. Share your ideas and feedback. If you have suggestions on how we can improve DEIB in our department, please let us know! Community voices are essential for us in understanding what everyone needs. See “Contact Us” for details.