Strategies for and Barriers to Collaboratively Developing Anti-Racist Policies and Resources as Described by Geoscientists of Color Participating in the Unlearning Racism in Geoscience (URGE) Program

Written by: Carlene Burton, Gabriel Duran, Vashan Wright, Rebecca Chmiel
Published on: Sep 22, 2023

female scientists

Photo credit: Gorodenkoff/Adobe Stock

The Unlearning Racism in Geosciences (URGE) program helps groups of geoscientists create, implement, and assess anti-racist policies and resources for their workplace.

Geoscientists of Color and White Geoscientists collaborated during the program. This study uses data from two surveys and five discussion groups to assess the effectiveness of their collaborations. We found that participating GoC want to continue working with White colleagues on anti-racist work and want White colleagues to continue taking leadership roles. The collaborations improve when White colleagues (a) stay on the topic of race, (b) follow through on actions, (c) educate themselves on anti-racism, and (d) stop using offensive and oppressive language that hurts People of Color. Additionally, future programs like URGE should invest in training people on how to talk about racism and adhere to the behavioral guidelines, especially ones that describe mechanisms for handling complaints against those who continue to use offensive language and behavior.

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