Carter Immunology Center – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Mission Statement

CIC is committed to fostering a respectful, supportive, and inclusive environment that allows all members of our community to thrive. There is overwhelming evidence that increasing diversity enhances creativity and innovation. The CIC seeks to build an equitable scientific space that supports individuals of diverse physical abilities, ethnicities, nationalities, genders, sexual orientations, belief systems, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The role of the Associate Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the CIC is to facilitate best practices within our community of immunologists that will:

  • Cultivate an inclusive climate that fosters success and belonging of every individual
  • Increase the representation and retention of students, postdocs, staff, and faculty from groups that have been historically underrepresented or marginalized in science
  • Provide community members with the training and tools to appreciate and value diversity
  • Ensure that scholars at all levels have role models for their training and advancement
  • Invest in and engage with external communities that support diversity, equity, and inclusion in immunology research

Strategies to support DEI within the CIC

Establish measures of accountability for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment
  1. Conduct a transparent, annual review of demographics and success rates within the CIC and ITG environments
  2. Adopt the GRIT/WIMS invited speaker demographics self-reporting form to monitory inclusion in the CIC seminar series
  3. Identify strategies that will enrich faculty candidate applicants and interviewees from backgrounds that are underrepresented in science
  4. Develop physical infrastructures (eg. nursing room, gender-neutral restrooms, slide decks for low visibility users) that support the diverse needs of scientists within or visiting our community

Enhance awareness of the challenges facing all scientists in our CIC community
  1. Engage in training to enhance mentorship skills, awareness of subtle acts of exclusion, and develop bias intervention skills that will support community members of all backgrounds
  2. Ensure that educators, staff, and students are aware of the mental health support services available to all members of our community
  3. Provide a transparent path for bias incident reporting and conflict resolution resources available at UVa
  4. Create a digital display case to share journal articles, resources, funding opportunities, and networks that support diversity in immunology

Foster a sense of belonging for minority and underrepresented immunologists in our community
  1. Foster a supportive environment where individuals in our community are open to the experience of others through workshops, community dialogues, and informal gatherings
  2. Partnership with local and national organizations that support DEI engagement to enhance cross-fertilization between those groups and the CIC community
  3. Promote the visibility of URM scientists in our local and national immunology communities.
  4. Help faculty and trainees broaden scientific networks of URM colleagues and mentors at meetings and through social media

Service and outreachthrough participation in local and national DEI initiatives
  1. Participation in local student-led initiatives including Graduate Recruitment Initiative Team (GRIT) Day, Women in Medical Sciences happy hour & career development events, Diversity Day, Queer in Medical Sciences book club, and film discussions.
  2. Recruit/poster judge at AABERCAMS and SACNAS and attend DEI workshops at scientific meetings
  3. Serve on Study Sections that support the development of scientists from underrepresented backgrounds
  4. Partner with BIMS and SOM efforts to support DEI infrastructure including BIMS Inclusive Excellence Committee, SOM Diversity Consortium Committee, and BIMS Departmental Diversity Facilitators

For specific questions regarding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) within the Carter Immunology Center (CIC), please feel free to reach out to Sarah Ewald, Associate Director for DEI and Assistant Professor of Assistant Professor, Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology.