Institute of Behavioral Science

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

IBS Diversity Statement:

The Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS) notes in its mission statement that it is “committed to advancing knowledge of society’s most pressing challenges, and to pursuing solutions to those challenges through innovative and interdisciplinary research, education, and engagement in the world.” While systemic racism is one of society’s most pressing challenges and, as such, must be studied and ultimately addressed, in the meantime these embedded societal barriers place limits on who can pursue and attain higher education and conduct research on said challenges. Consistent with the Institute’s mission, IBS leadership, researchers, and staff are deeply devoted to understanding, addressing, and combating structural inequality. Research on various forms of marginalization has a relatively long tradition across different IBS Programs and Centers. Over time IBS has sought to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) among IBS leadership, researchers, and staff. Further catalyzed by continued and unfortunate forms of racist and sexist abuse particularly affecting Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color, these efforts have been formalized through the creation of a DEI initiative under the leadership of a DEI Director and a standing DEI committee with a substantial budget for DEI activities. These efforts are done in close collaboration with IBS administrators and the different IBS Programs and Centers.

One specific goal of the initiative is to foster research practices aimed at better understanding and addressing historical forms of marginalization, with an emphasis on those afflicting U.S. society, and on the training of a more diverse social science research workforce. This requires supporting research, education, and mentoring on DEI issues and the recruitment of a more diverse body of students, researchers, and staff. It also requires IBS to uncover and remedy systemic biases that may affect the research process itself. To this end, IBS seeks to expand opportunities to incorporate anti-racist practices in research, welcome diverse researchers and staff to IBS, and improve engagement with diverse research partners and constituencies, going beyond race-ethnicity and gender in our diversity and inclusion efforts but using them as a lynchpin of our equity work.

We look forward to continuing these efforts.

Actions

To date, IBS has taken the following actions to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion:

  • Established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, consisting of faculty, professional staff, and students, to oversee the institute’s anti-racism efforts.
  • Committed substantial institute funds to initiate activities aimed at achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.
  • Appointed a DEI Director responsible for coordinating institute-wide activities.
  • Deepened its commitment to recruiting BIPOC and women faculty members to join IBS.
  • Increased its commitment to recruiting, mentoring, and training undergraduate and graduate students of color, including an expansion of programs to engage with undergraduate students in particular (see information about our UREDI program below).
  • Employed a consulting firm specializing in equity, diversity, and inclusion to conduct an equity audit that includes an institute-wide survey, a series of focus groups with students, faculty, and other IBS personnel, as well as in-depth interviews with IBS program directors and other members of IBS leadership, and analysis of Institute procedures.
  • Made plans to collect data from IBS research partners to identify steps that need to be taken to work more effectively with at-risk groups, including steps to improve cultural sensitivity and cultural competence.
  • Obtained a Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Grant from the CU Office of Academic Affairs to conduct a workshop entitled “Interrupting Structural and Institutional Racism by Centering Equity throughout the Research Process.”
  • Launched a fund-raising drive to obtain resources that are necessary for sustaining and expanding institute DEI activities.
  • Issued statements condemning racist violence, including:
  • In the summer of 2020, moved by outrage about how violent forms of policing led to the tragic and completely avoidable deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Walter Scott, and so many others, the Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS) issued a statement of support for the Black Lives Matter movement and other anti-racism groups. While condemning police use of deadly force against persons of color, the statement also called attention to longstanding patterns of structural racism and injustice in U. S. society and its institutions and noted that the time is long overdue for undertaking concrete actions to dismantle such structures.
  • In March 2021, issued a statement condemning violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders following the murders of six Asian women at spas in the Atlanta, GA area and an increase in attacks on AAPI persons around the country.

Programs

  • UREDI (Undergraduate Research for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion)
    • IBS has committed to funding undergraduate researchers, strongly emphasizing the training and mentoring of BIPOC, first-generation, or other college students historically-marginalized and under-represented in academia and related fields of social and behavioral science. This program aims at providing hands-on research experience in various fields of social and behavioral science as performed across different programs and centers of IBS. If you are unfamiliar with these programs, check out our website before you decide to apply, or ask us (Fernando.Riosmena@colorado.edu).
    • In addition to doing paid research work on a project and being mentored by a researcher affiliated with IBS, students participating in the program attend monthly trainings that are part of the Institute’s program for Training in Research for Undergraduate Students (TRUSt). Applications for UREDI are available here: Student Application, Mentor Application
  • IBS Graduate Student Funding
    • As part of the IBS Graduate Student Training program, funds are available to support research costs and summer work time for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Calls announced each semester.
  • IBS Seed Research Funding
    • In partnership with the IBS and the CU Population Center (CUPC), the IBS DEI group provides financial support for pilot research projects. Selected projects support researchers from disadvantaged backgrounds. Calls announced each semester.
  • Racial Equity Challenge for Institutes
    • Organized by the Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS), this program brings together members from Institutes across the CU Boulder campus to take a self-paced Anti-Racism course for three weeks and attend weekly facilitated discussions. The Challenge works to ensure students, staff, researchers, and faculty have a baseline knowledge and shared understanding of racism in our workplaces and society.
    • Spring 2021 session has ended. Information about a possible Summer 2021 cohort will be posted.

Resources

Donate

Support DEI efforts at IBS! Donate to the IBS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Support Fund.

The fund is set up to provide discretionary support for equity, diversity, and inclusion programming in IBS to enhance recruitment, mentoring, and training of next generation researchers with diverse backgrounds.

Info

For more information about DEI at IBS, contact IBS Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fernando Riosmena.