Diversity and Inclusion Principles
Inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility are central to the mission and principles of the March for Science Houston. Scientists and people who care about science are an intersectional group, embodying a diverse range of races, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, religions, ages, socioeconomic and immigration statuses. We, the march organizers, represent and stand in solidarity with historically underrepresented scientists and science advocates. We are united by our passion to pursue and share knowledge.
We acknowledge that society and scientific institutions often fail to include and value the contributions of scientists from underrepresented groups. Systems of privilege influence who becomes a part of the science community, what topics we study, and how we apply our work in creating new technologies and crafting policy. We recognize that, historically and today, some scientific endeavors have been used to harm and oppress marginalized communities.
Political actions -- such as gag orders for government science agencies, funding freezes, immigration bans, and policy changes blocking action on climate change -- lead to greater damage for vulnerable populations. Science itself can drive our conversations about the importance of diversity, as it provides us with the data to understand how systemic bias and discrimination impact our communities and what actions can be taken to change this. We will continue improving our understanding of our problematic structures, biases, and actions in order to grow a healthier future for all.
We recognize that a diverse and inclusive scientific community asks a broader range of questions and rewards us with a greater understanding of our world. Diversity and inclusion improve creativity, drive discovery and innovation, and lead to better problem-solving by drawing on multiple perspectives. Sustaining diversity increases the capacity for change, strengthens the resilience of natural and social systems, and enhances human well-being.
To move forward as a scientific community, we must explicitly acknowledge the many significant, and often overlooked, historical and modern contributions of underrepresented members of our communities. We better serve everyone when we affirm that the labors and achievements of underrepresented communities are foundational to the creation and maintenance of our democracy; engage in difficult conversations; and sustain an open scientific community that celebrates, respects, and includes people from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Every human being, regardless of their backgrounds is deserving of equal access to science and the advantages it provides.
These statements require actions.
We commit to educating ourselves and others about the issues of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility in science.
We support and encourage the challenging conversations that follow.
We pledge to amplify the work of underrepresented scientists and to address concerns and critiques as we work together to make scientific spaces more equitable.
We stand behind our policies on accessibility, harassment, and nonviolence.
We advocate for the policies enabling equal access to science education, careers in science, and the benefits of science.
And, as always, we invite feedback on centralizing diversity and inclusion in our vision and actions.