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Social Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative

Our Center’s efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

CIERA is committed to creating a welcoming, safe, and inclusive community for everyone. Every person connected to CIERA, including its visitors, upholds our shared values by seeking diverse perspectives and deliberately working to increase access and equity of people from marginalized groups. We recognize that true excellence only comes from the meaningful integration of all perspectives in our community and culture.

CIERA has established dedicated action teams and a central committee, including representation from faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students, to tackle Diversity, Equity & Inclusion efforts.

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee members: Kari Frank, Aaron Geller, Vicky Kalogera, Bryan Scott


CIERA also participates with University-wide diversity & inclusion efforts.
Northwestern’s Leadership Commitment
Policies & Reporting Forms: Northwestern’s Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance

Action Teams

Current action teams include: Climate Study, Mentoring

Past and Present Committee/Action Team Members include:

Claude-André Faucher-Giguère, Giles Novak, Aprajita Hajela, Sasha Tchekhovskoy, Emily Leiner, Erin Cox, Kari Frank, Peter Blanchard, Wynn Jacobson-Galán, Vicky Kalogera, Ryan Chornock, Raffaella Margutti, Adam Miller, Christopher Berry, Aris Lalakos, Cliff Johnson, Lindsay DeMarchi, Shane Larson, Alex Gurvich, Newlin Weatherford, Claire Ye, Evan Anders, Chloe Lohmeyer, David Matthews, Camille Liotine, Aaron Geller, Scotty Coughlin, Sam Imperato, Nick Kaaz, Tjitske Starkenburg, Chase Kimball, Jillian Rastinejad, Monica Gallegos Garcia, Sarah Wellons, Beverly Lowell, Kate Alexander, Alicia Rouco Escorial, Anya Nugent, Lisa Raymond, Huei Sears, Giacomo Terreran, Gretchen Oehlschlager, Michelle Paulsen, Kerry Paterson, Patrick Sheehan, Wen-fai Fong, Michael Stroh, and Deanne Coppejans, Zoheyr Doctor, Sharan Banagiri, Bryan Scott, Ben Hyatt


Visitor Program Improvement
  • To help create a diverse and representative Visitors Program at CIERA, we developed a new Speaker Suggestion Form and Resource Page. These tools help with our deliberate effort to bring BIPOC, Women, and LGBTQ+ scientists to campus, as well as visitors who can speak on diversity, equity, and inclusion issues in STEM. The CIERA community is regularly pointed to these resources.
  • To analyze the demographics of our Visitors Program and identify any necessary improvements, we have collected data from CIERA visiting researchers and speakers. An anonymous survey of all who visited from fall 2017 through summer 2020 resulted in 178 responses (more than 50% of all visitors from that period).
Sustainable Activism
  • We share activism opportunities, resources, and social justice related news on an active internal Slack channel.
CIERA Community Climate Improvement
  • To provide a mechanism for feedback on issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at CIERA, an anonymous form is available. The form includes resources for incident reporting tools and confidential support services.
  • To respond to the internal call for professional training and provide a foundational set of tools to the CIERA community, we have hosted a series of 4 professional workshops on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion held from January – June 2021, led by Movement Consulting.
  • To enable more underrepresented graduate students to succeed in STEM, we are pursuing collaborations with nationally recognized bridge programs and local Chicago-area universities.
  • A volunteer-based mentorship network for CIERA has been developed. Anyone in CIERA can volunteer to serve as a mentor for peers or more junior members, and everyone in CIERA can request one or multiple mentors that are peers or more senior members.
  • A monthly mentorship lunch has been launched to support and foster successful mentorship experiences within CIERA.
  • Mentoring references and resources have been collected and shared on CIERA’s internal website for use by the CIERA community.
  • A system to collect aggregate demographics information of CIERA’s postdoc applicant pool has been implemented in order to assess and correct for possible bias in the recruitment process.
Education & Outreach Programs
  • Our goal is to ensure that CIERA’s K-12 outreach initiatives lower barriers to STEM enrichment opportunities. We developed guiding principles that CIERA’s K-12 education and outreach programs should abide by.  CIERA’s outreach committee is responsible for integrating these guiding principles into CIERA’s education and outreach endeavors.
  • CIERA researchers have increased our involvement with the Northwestern Prison Education Program, by volunteering as tutors and course instructors for people who are incarcerated.
  • CIERA educational programs, including Reach for the Stars, REACH, REU, IDEAS and more, continue deliberate efforts to engage and support students from marginalized groups in all stages of STEM education. This includes securing funding from the NSF, the Brinson Foundation, and other sources to remove financial barriers for participating.

Outcomes last updated 11/11/2022

Upcoming Events

CIERA Allyship and Advocacy Workshop

Mar 04, 2024
12:30 PM
1800 Sherman Avenue (8th floor, Cafe)

CIERA en español

Mar 07, 2024
2:00 PM
1800 Sherman Avenue (8th floor, Skylounge)

CIERA en español

Apr 04, 2024
2:00 PM
1800 Sherman Avenue (8th floor, Skylounge)