MGS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative
The Minnesota Geological Survey's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiative is dedicated to enhancing the environment for diversity, equity, and inclusion across the MGS and broader field of geology/STEM.
Our initiative will be guided through discussion and action within the MGS DEI Committee. The DEI Committee will meet monthly to discuss, communicate, and create collaborations in ongoing and upcoming initiatives and events that support the following objectives and more:
- Ensure that our core value of creating geologic maps to foster stewardship of land, minerals and groundwater is not only inclusive, but focuses on creating geologic maps for underrepresented communities.
- Provide resources, arrange training (through the University's Office of Equity and Diversity), and lead discussions to aid our staff members in becoming active allies in their personal lives.
- Create a more robust public outreach program that specifically focuses on making our maps more accessible to communities and organizations that support communities of color and to increase awareness of the field of geology as a career option to a younger and more diverse audience.
- Make progress towards creating a more diverse workplace in the future.
- Healing our relationship with the Native American Communities.
- Amplify the science and research done by BIPOC geoscientists.
Notable Actions by the DEI Committee and MGS
- Gathered resources pertaining to general DEI topics and racism in the Earth Science community into a Google Drive folder shared amongst staff. Encouraged staff to periodically explore the resources to be active allies in their personal lives and continue to grow our collection of resources.
- Created a section in the MGS Office Library for physical copies of DEI-related materials free to borrow from staff.
- Anonymously polled staff on DEI topics and the current state of DEI culture at the MGS. Discussed results and used this information to better develop a plan of action.
- Created a DEI Reading Club where participants consume a piece of media and gather to discuss. Past media include:
- A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota, edited by Sun Yung Shin
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- "Responses to 10 Common Criticisms of Anti-Racism Action in STEM" by Maya Gosztyla and others
- How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Committed ourselves to amplifying the science and research done by diverse authors through invited talks at MGS Seminars.
- Reviewed our current culture of safety, both in the office and in the field, through a DEI lens to ensure diverse members of staff feel safe and welcome. We are currently working on new policies for MGS staff.
- Reviewed current hiring practices and developed new procedures to help increase the diversity of our candidates. Noteworthy procedures include:
- Compiling a list of diverse schools and organizations to contact and advertise new job openings.
- Increasing advertisement of job openings on MGS social media accounts and website.
- Reviewing job descriptions to include diversity-affirming language and to remove any unnecessary and exclusionary job requirements.
- More closely partnering with UMN Human Resources to take advantage of their diversity-affirming hiring procedures and recruitment goals (e.g., SparkHire).
- Added a listing for a tour of the Minnesota Geological Survey on the UMN College of Science & Engineering's list of potential field trips as part of a broader advancement of outreach efforts.
- Attended an Environmental Community Engagement Summit between the Earth & Environmental Sciences Department and Twin Cities environmental community organizations to build awareness, understanding, and capacity for community-centered research and engagement.
Organizations and Social Media of Interest
Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)
- National Association of Black Geoscientists and Geophysicists (NABGG)
- Society of Latinxs/Hispanics in Earth and Space Science (SOLESS)
- Black Geoscientists (@BlackGeoscientists) - Twitter
- GeoLatinas (@GeoLatinas) - Twitter/Instagram
- B-SCI: Black Science Coalition and Institute
- BlackAndSTEM (@BlackAndSTEM) - Twitter/Instagram
- BlackAFinSTEM (@BlackAFinSTEM) - Twitter/Instagram
- Indigenous Women Hike
- Indigenous Women Outdoors
- National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NOGLSTP)
- Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM)
- Pride in STEM (@PrideinSTEM) - Twitter
- LGBTQ+ STEM (@LGBTSTEM) - Twitter
- 500 Queer Scientists
- Gravity and Gender
- Online Guide to Scholarships & Resources for LGBTQIA+ College Students
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