An Update on SRCD’s Anti-Racism Efforts
Ensuring that all feel welcome and included is essential for SRCD’s current impact and the future of the field. Indeed, our strategic initiatives include integrating diversity in all areas of developmental science and building capacity and human capital for the developmental sciences in the United States and internationally. While pursuing these goals, it is important to understand how systems and practices may implicitly privilege some and marginalize others. One way that people have been historically marginalized is on the basis of racial and ethnic background.
To establish processes to mitigate systemic racism, SRCD’s Governing Council established an Anti-Racism Task Force. This Task Force will supplement the work of our Caucuses and Committees in a commitment to make the Society more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive.
The Anti-Racism Task Force is charged with identifying ways in which Society leadership, organizational structure, policies, practices, programs, members, and outreach efforts, can reduce and eliminate racism and racist practices and promote inclusion, that is become more anti-racist. To do this, the Governing Council asked that the Task Force, first, explore what efforts are already underway at SRCD, drawing on the ongoing work of the Caucuses, Committees, and others. Then, they will develop a plan to guide SRCD’s efforts.
I am so pleased that the following Governing Council members and staff have agreed to serve on this Task Force: Sarah DeMartini (California State University, Chico), Kelly Fisher (SRCD), Saima Hedrick (SRCD), Rashmita Mistry (UCLA), Stephanie Rowley (Columbia University) and Stephen Russell (University of Texas at Austin). In addition, Andrew Fuligni (UCLA), who recently completed his term on the Governing Council, has agreed to continue serving on this important Task Force.
The Task Force will carry out their charge in three segments:
- Evaluating policies and procedures: Taking a critical look at SRCD's existing policies and operations to identify ways to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is deeply embedded in our work as an organization moving forward.
- Developing systems to track our progress: Ensuring that the improvements and progress made are measurable and endure into the future.
- Addressing the role of power dynamics: Identifying how prestige and influence affect decision-making in ways that promote the status quo and marginalize and privilege people based on their racial background, and creating solutions to foster equity and inclusion.
The task force is currently analyzing information from all committees, caucuses, and town hall comments to identify key issues and suggested solutions. These key issues will be shared with a DEI consultant to help SRCD craft anti-racism principles and create a plan to systematically enhance our policies to align with those principles. We anticipate that the work of the Task Force will include several opportunities for you to provide your input and perspective. Please look out for these opportunities.
The Governing Council is confident that when the Task Force completes its work, SRCD will have a set of anti-racism principles and practices to embed into the fabric of the Society and guide us in our future endeavors.
We welcome your questions and comments. Feel free to reach out to any member of the Task Force or to us, directly.
Nancy E. Hill, Ph.D.
Saima K. Hedrick, MPH, CAE