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Social Justice 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 task forces to tackle Diversity, Equity & Inclusion efforts. Task forces include representation from faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students.


CIERA also participates with University-wide diversity & inclusion efforts.
Northwestern’s Leadership Commitment
Policies & Reporting Forms: Northwestern’s Office of Equity

Task Forces

Current task forces include: CIERA Speaker Equity Assessment, K-12 Outreach, Sustainable Activism, Bridge Program/Mentoring, Northwestern Prison Education Program, Weekly Social Justice Meeting Planning.

Past and Present Committee/Task Force 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


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. (updated September 9, 2021)
  • 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). (updated March 26, 2021)
Sustainable Activism
  • We share activism opportunities, resources, and social justice related news on an active internal Slack channel. (updated April 5, 2021)
CIERA Community Climate Improvement
  • To work towards a shared reality on a wide array of anti-racism and social justice issues, we organize a weekly internal meeting with reading material, active discussions, group trainings, and more. (updated November 23, 2020)
  • 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. (updated October 28, 2021)
  • 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. (updated July 7, 2021)
  • To enable more underrepresented graduate students to succeed in STEM, we are pursuing collaborations with nationally recognized bridge programs and local Chicago-area universities. (updated March 26, 2021)
  • We are investigating how mentoring and support structures in CIERA can be improved, so we can ensure that all students can get the guidance they need and deserve. (updated March 26, 2021)
  • 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. (updated September 9, 2021)
Education & Outreach Programs
  • Our goal is to ensure that CIERA’s K-12 outreach initiatives reach younger students in most need of STEM enrichment. We developed guiding principles that CIERA’s K-12 education and outreach programs should abide by. We are currently developing new programming aimed at the voiced needs of K-12 students and teachers as well as a development framework to ensure that K-12 outreach initiatives reflect our guiding principles in the future. (updated April 12, 2021)
  • CIERA researchers have increased our involvement with the Northwestern Prison Education Program, by volunteering as tutors and course instructors for people who are incarcerated. (updated October 28, 2021)
  • 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. (updated October 28, 2021)

Upcoming Events

Recent Visitors

Monica Vidaurri

Stanford University

11/16/2021 - 11/16/2021

Host: Camille Liotine/Anya Nugent/Huei Sears

Programs: Social Justice Initiative