Austin Gray, University of North Carolina at Greensboro and SETAC North America Inclusive Diversity Committee Co-Chair

Greetings, members of SETAC from the SETAC North America Inclusive Diversity (ID) Committee! We had a great year as we celebrated our first annual meeting as a fully recognized committee within the Society. The annual meeting in Toronto had a lot of key moments for our group. We started by having our co-chairs Latonya Jackson and Austin Gray address the general membership at the opening reception. Following this, our committee was responsible for the pronoun stickers that were available at the SETAC North America 40th Annual meeting in Toronto and members could apply to their name badges. Our Gathering of Empowered Minds (GEM) social was a huge hit. Thanks to the members of SETAC, we were able to sell out of tickets. The event was such a highlight and allowed members from various groups within SETAC to come together and discuss proactive ways to address the barriers that may keep individuals from attending SETAC annual meetings. We also held round table discussions about what it is that we, as a committee, can do to make SETAC more inclusive.

Thanks to all the feedback and positive responses we received following the annual meeting in Toronto, we are now in full swing in planning for our activities for the SETAC North America 41st Annual Meeting, which is scheduled to be held from 15–19 November in Fort Worth, Texas. We are still accepting members and encourage all those interested in helping SETAC in diversity and inclusion initiative to join us. For the upcoming year, we are aiming to focus more on providing travel support to students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and minority serving institutions. Along with this, we are also aiming to recruit early career professionals that are from underrepresented groups. For these plans to come into action, we are fundraising and accepting donations, and you can help by donating online. The ID committee is also collaborating with the SETAC North America Student Advisory Council (NASAC) to host luncheon geared towards diversity and inclusion. Stay tuned for details on that!

Lastly, the ID committee is aware of the unfortunate situation surrounding the spread of COVID-19. We realize this may alter future meeting plans and fundraising strategies. More than anything, our concern is for people, and we encourage everyone to be safe and well wishes to you and your loved ones!

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to Latonya Jackson and Austin Gray. If interested, please check out our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Author’s contact information: adgray2@uncg.edu

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