Diversity, Equity, Belonging and Respect (DEBR) at Beyond Benign
Our Organization: Beyond Benign is fully committed to continuing and expanding our actions to support diversity, equity, belonging and respect in all that we do. Our organization advocates for green chemistry education, which is a key part of achieving a healthy and sustainable global future. However, we recognize that advocating for everyone to practice green chemistry, is not possible without consideration of the current discrimination and systemic barriers that affect members of the global chemistry community. We believe that making green chemistry accessible to all means practicing our work through a lens of diversity, equity, belonging, and respect. This means respect and engagement for everyone in our organization, along with ensuring equity in areas such as compensation, benefits and career growth and opportunities. Diversity, equity and belonging together result in a better and stronger organization.
Our Community: We are committed to integrating diversity, equity, belonging and respect throughout our internal and external programs – including our K-12, Higher Education, and Green Chemistry Teaching and Learning Community programs; our external-facing events, activities, presentations, and workshops; our open-access resources; and our online platform and presence. We acknowledge this means a commitment to continually and steadily changing aspects of our programming, such as ensuring better accessibility of our resources, and actively engaging with and uplifting underrepresented communities within our programs and events.
Our Commitments: We are committed to improving equity and justice throughout our organization. Part of how we intend to achieve our goals and objectives is by:
- Increasing representation of underrepresented groups within our organizational leadership and staff, and additional leadership positions, including intentionally reaching out to a diverse set of partners as leadership opportunities become available
- Uplifting our community through recognition and promotion of work from underrepresented community members and equitable compensation for all community members with whom we engage
- Seeking strategic partnerships with organizations and groups whose commitments to DEBR align with ours
- Continual progress to ensure equitable and responsible approaches to interweaving DEBR throughout our organization and programs through self-education and partnerships
We believe a more diverse community built on equity and respect, where members feel unconditionally accepted, will strengthen the community as a whole and improve the quality and impact of our collective work.
How we are currently prioritizing DEBR in our programming:
- GCTLC Leadership Committee – the Diversity, Equity, Belonging and Respect (DEBR) Subcommittee was formed for creating the foundation of the Green Chemistry Teaching and Learning Community (GCTLC) online platform. The platform aims to create, develop, and nurture a diverse and accessible online community of practice that fosters a strong sense of belonging and supports open collaboration, networking, mentorship, and resource sharing between members of the scientific community to advance the integration of green and sustainable chemistry principles and practices across the education continuum. Read more in the GCTLC Annual Report here.
- Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Initiative, designed to provide green chemistry educational support for faculty and students at minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and from minority communities. The MSI initiative is a critical component of the Beyond Benign Green Chemistry Commitment (GCC) 25×25 program, which seeks to ensure that 25 percent of graduating chemists in the U.S. have a background in green chemistry by 2025. Read more about the MSI initiative here and learn about grants for MSI student groups here.
- 2021-2022 Pathways to Sustainable Invention Speakers Series. With support from the Lemelson Foundation, Beyond Benign partenered with the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists & Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) and Society for Science to host the Pathways to Sustainable Invention Speaker Series, a five-part webinar series designed to elevate the stories of inventors (including student inventors) from diverse backgrounds. Read our Q&A, with Dr. T. Gregory Tucker, Ph.D., a scientist, educator, entrepreneur and inventor who works at the University of Louisville about the series and access the recording here.