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Update from the Chair of the Board
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The POSTDOCket

Volume 15, Issue 3 (March 2017)

Kate Sleeth

 

Over the past few months there has been growing concern about national feelings towards diversity and inclusion, due to an increase in aggression across the country based on race, ethnicity, disability, country of origin, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity. I find this to be an excellent time to reiterate to the NPA community our organizational diversity and inclusion statements. They can be read in full here. I would like to further emphasize two key points:

  • The NPA is committed to achieving diversity and inclusiveness among its constituency and advocates equally for all postdoctoral scholars, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, disability, country of origin, socio-economic status, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, in all disciplines and at all organizations that train postdocs.
  • A goal of the NPA is to foster an environment that promotes diversity and inclusiveness and creates opportunities for all members to interact with tolerance, understanding, and respect for others.

 

The NPA has and will continue to welcome all to participate in our community and activities.

 

Throughout February, we celebrated Black History Month on social media by featuring African-American scholars and scientists who made key contributions to their disciplines. We will continue to highlight the achievements of individuals from diverse backgrounds and how their meaningful contributions have pushed the boundaries of knowledge and discovery. A few famous examples are: Katherine G. Johnson (African-American mathematician), Stephen Hawking (theoretical physicist suffering from ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Severo Ochoa (Hispanic biochemist), John Forbes Nash, Jr. (mathematician suffering from paranoid schizophrenia), and Alan Turing (gay computer scientist). If you are aware of other individuals who you wish to be highlighted, please contact us and let us know who they are.

 

I am excited to share that the NPA recently re-established a joint membership with the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NOGLSTP). They are a national organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals (and their advocates) employed or interested in scientific or high technology fields. This joint membership provides full access to the “members only” resources for both NPA and NOGLSTP. To learn more about this opportunity click here. In addition, we hope to host a shared webinar to discuss how both associations can collaborate in the future. Partnerships such as this expand the resources available to NPA members, and we look forward to working with NOGLSTP on future efforts.

 

The NPA will continue to seek partnerships with associations that share our vision, values, and commitment to diversity and inclusion. Embracing a diverse community broadens our organizational perspective and promotes welcoming, safe, and positive work environments for postdocs.

 

Kate Sleeth, PhD, is the chair of the NPA Board of Directors and interim associate dean of administration and student development for the Beckman Research Institute at City of Hope.

 

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