WormBoard Report: August 2020

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Report from WormBoard to the C. elegans community - August 2020

There has been an outpouring of support and ideas to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in our world-wide worm community. Please keep the ideas, conversations, comments, and criticism coming. You are welcome to send me an email Jane.Hubbard@med.nyu.edu with thoughts and suggestions you wish to communicate to the board. Please put “wormboard” in the subject line.

The Worm Community Sign-Up Sheet is still open! Wormboard will reach out to more of you in the near future. Lab heads are encouraged to sign up here LabHeads Google Group to receive these messages directly by email. All community messages will also be posted on WormBase and sent out to the mailing list that receives the Blog. We will also post the link to social media.

As promised here in our message of July 18, 2020 to the community, we report on the first 3 initiatives, and we provide updates on the others. Immediate: Now – End of August 2020 Initiative #1: C. elegans community-wide climate survey The survey was opened mid-July and closed on August 11th. The survey committee is still analyzing results and will post a comprehensive report in early October, including community access to results and free-form comments. A brief summary of preliminary findings from the survey can be found here.

Initiative #2: Worm Mentoring Match Please see the Mentor Match program details here. The program will roll out in November 2020.

Initiative #3. Communicate resources that facilitate undergraduate (UG) research experiences Undergraduate research opportunities are listed https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10IATQCPmlovm_4-UhoArpuWOAccLhoyMN4nX5eVd6DQ/edit?usp=sharing This is a starting point, and information will be eventually added to the diversity portal. We ask community members to continue to add to this list. Near-term: September to December 2020 Initiative #4. WormBoard membership will be diversified and expanded This is the agenda item of WormBoard’s late October 2020 meeting. An international subcommittee is working and will report to the community by the end of the year. Comments from the community are welcome. The current WormBoard charter, election cycle and current members are listed here: https://wiki.wormbase.org/index.php/WormBoard Longer-term: now through December 2021 Initiative #5: Make regional, topic, and international worm meeting (IWM) participation more inclusive, including new travel award initiative. Initiative #6: Create a comprehensive and user-friendly C. elegans Community WormBase Website Portal to facilitate these and future initiatives The many terrific comments and suggestions from the climate survey on both points above will be conveyed to meeting organizers and will guide plans for the portal and additional efforts to facilitate communication within the community.