A Message from Richard M. Myers, Chief Scientific Officer, President Emeritus and Faculty Investigator
Diversity is critical to sound science. But not just diversity of scientific study. We must ensure that our workforce accurately reflects our diverse communities, and that access to the scientific findings and advancements are available and accessible to all.
At HudsonAlpha, we are proud of our efforts to increase diversity in future generations of scientists through programs such as our LABS program (Launching Aspiring Biotechnology Scientists) for high school students and our SURE-GM (Summer Undergraduate Research Experience in Genomic Medicine) for college students, both programs designed to increase STEM exposure and experience for underrepresented students.
Programs such as Information is Power work to make genetic screening more accessible and more affordable to more people across North Alabama. Participation in the Alabama Genomic Health Initiative (AGHI) and SouthSeq, aim to increase access to genetic information for underserved populations, as well as disease-specific research such as how Lupus disproportionately affects women of color, demonstrate HudsonAlpha’s deep commitment to making sure the benefits of genomic research applies to all.
In 2020 HudsonAlpha formalized our commitment to diversity by instituting the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The work done out of this office will help ensure that both the research being done on our campus, and the advancements and outcomes that come out of that research is inclusive of and available to all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, faith/religion, sexual orientation, or disability.
While the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is just getting started, our commitment to the values that it represents is embedded in the foundation of this Institute.
A Message from Darrell Ezell, PhD, Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Welcome to the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. It is an honor to serve as the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. At HudsonAlpha, we celebrate diversity and inclusion in the workplace across race, gender identity, age, ethnicity, disabilities, sexual orientation, and religion/faith. Our employees are our ambassadors, and it is important that we recognize a diverse workforce is crucial to enriching organizational performance, enhancing scientific discovery, and building bridges to engage our diverse community. At HudsonAlpha, we are committed to ensuring our employees feel accepted, respected, and valued.
Our Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion aims to:
- Provide strategic leadership that supports the Institute’s efforts to better engage our diverse community.
- Recruit, promote, and retain a diverse workforce in an equitable manner by ensuring our workforce accurately reflects our diverse community.
- Support internal programs within the Institute and external initiatives.
- Facilitate the creation of a more welcoming and inclusive workplace that meets the needs of our employees and the diverse community we serve.
Embarking upon this diversity journey will require establishing a foundation rooted in collaboration to foster a shared vision that advances cultural competence in day-to-day operations and encourages belonging within the workplace. To support these and future endeavors, HudsonAlpha’s Community, Engagement & Diversity Task Force was established to identify obstacles and opportunities to increase organizational effectiveness and to serve as a diverse body to provide recommendations and support organizational change. While the office will support HudsonAlpha’s employees, it is also committed to providing educational resources to our academic partners and community stakeholders as A Path Forward, a broad community awareness roundtable on issues related to genomic health, health disparity, and improved access for minority populations. In establishing a path forward to build a more equitable work environment, it is critical we recruit, retain, and support the next generation of diverse scientists, students, and employees.
I am proud to take on this work with fellow colleagues and our community. I encourage everyone to be an ally and that our employees, academic partners, and community stakeholders get involved in the process to share their passions, talents, and ideas on diversity, equity, and inclusion!