CPERL stands in solidarity with the BIPOC community. We stand for each other and strive towards inclusive excellence.
Why build an anti-racist research lab?
Rehabilitation practitioners and scientists know that environments matter in shaping the lives of children with, or at risk for, disability. Similarly, institutional environments shape how we build evidence-based practices. Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) faculty, staff and students in academic institutions work tirelessly every day to belong. Academic research labs that train talented and committed students for careers as research-engaged clinicians and career scientists are instrumental in promoting racial equity.
Our BIPOC-majority research team embarked on a path to foster an anti-racist research lab in the summer of 2020. We safely gathered, with masks and disinfectant in hand, for courageous conversations about moving beyond our online statement of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We achieved consensus about our shared privilege and our responsibility to shape a research environment where we continuously strive to elevate the standards by which we conduct our science and ourselves as scientists or scientifically engaged clinicians. We designed an action plan for undertaking strategic improvements in our lab’s research portfolio and code of conduct. We expect experimental failure, are prepared to fail forward, and believe we will continue breaking silence through action. We vetted this plan with eight lab alumnae and published on it to hold ourselves accountable to knowing better and doing better.
We challenge other labs to follow suit.