Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Organizing Collective Committee

 A healthy climate of diversity, equity, and inclusion is critical to solving the challenges we face in our field. The DPP is committed to providing an inclusive space where scientists can exchange ideas and share their interests in plasma physics, regardless of their origin, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. We acknowledge, as a community, that the lack of an open and welcoming climate is a serious problem, and we commit to taking immediate action in support of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment.

The DPP Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Organizing Collective Committee (DPP DEI OCC) was assembled in 2019 to better ascertain current DPP DEI health and move forward in creating actions that will improve the DPP climate. The committee is currently working to collect and disseminate DPP survey data to identify equity gaps. As we are not subject matter experts in issues of climate and inclusion, the committee is working to identify external professional experts who can help us take effective actions.

Abstract call for our Mini-conference at APS DPP 2021

APS DPP Gatekeeper Workshop: 
Creating a Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Pipeline

Call for Abstract Submissions

The American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics is holding a new mini-conference at this year’s annual meeting focusing on increasing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the national plasma physics pipeline. This mini-conference will focus on how “Gatekeepers” - those responsible for hiring into the workforce and admissions into graduate programs - can enact systemic change. Evidence-based practices with a proven track record are incorporated into this innovative workshop, with sessions designed to share, reimagine and demonstrate effective actions to elevate our Division climate and effectiveness.

Abstracts submissions remain open until August 2! Everyone is encouraged to submit abstracts to the Gatekeeping mini-conference regardless of gatekeeping status. Students, faculty, administrators, industry and laboratory members, managers, directors, researchers, mentors, and mentees - all are encouraged to contribute. 

More information

Committee members

Royce W. James
Air Force Inst. of Tech. & US Coast Guard Academy

Arturo Dominguez
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Carolyn Kuranz
University of Michigan

Nick Murphy

Elizabeth Merritt
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Edward Thomas Jr.
University of Auburn

Ellen Zweibel
University of Wisconsin - Madison

David Newman
University of Alaska

Raspberry Simpson
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Opportunities for engagement

The DEI OC has many projects we are working on and would love some help. Below are descriptions of our activities, and links to further information and places to sign up.

EBP Toolkit

The Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) toolkit is a resource for members of the community to use tools developed by subject matter experts to improve the institutional climate at each person's workplace.  The toolkit features 5 EBPs which can be instituted within hiring/recruitment processes (e.g. the Rooney rule), as well as for everyday interpersonal interactions within the institution (e.g. the establishment an organizational bias incident policy).

Queryable Equity Database

The goal of this team is to establish a database of demographic and climate information for the DPP that can be used to evaluate and monitor equity gaps in the community. We require the database to be searchable by members of DPP committees, such as the Executive Committee as well as program and awards committees etc., such that these committees can use the database as a tool to evaluate historic and current equity in representation across the community in general and for specific nominee pools for honors and awards. Central to establishing this tool is the need for strict protection of community members’ private information, so as to ideally prevent the risk of harm to individuals due to volunteering potentially sensitive information.


Theory of Practice

The goal of the Theory of Practice team is to work with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) change agent experts to create a long-term plan to eliminate equity gaps in the plasma community. This team will write a call for proposals for DEI subject matter experts to create this plan. One the change agent experts are selected, this team will provide the information and support that the change agents need to complete the plan. Throughout this process, this team will build support among the plasma community to enact this plan once it is completed.


DEI Activities 

Examples of how DPP DEI recommendations have recently been implemented to promote a positive climate:

Community Agreements were derived to ‘set the rules’ at the start of professional meetings. These Community Agreements were adopted at the 2019 DEI Town Hall at the APS-DPP Meeting and the APS-DPP Community Planning Workshops in Knoxville and Houston.

The Community Plan for Fusion Energy and Discovery Plasma Sciences includes a statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Executive Summary. Specific recommendations were put forth in the section “Cross-cut WF: Develop a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce for Fusion and Discovery Plasma Science, Engineering, and Technology” (pg 113 of the document). Under Category A: Embrace diversity, equity, and inclusivity to attract the broadest array of talent and diversity of thought, the recommendations are:

  • Recommendation A-1: Engage Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Experts to Advise our Community and Develop Assessment Tools
  • Recommendation A-2: Implement New/Updated Policies and Codes of Conduct to encourage DEI
  • Recommendation A-3: Incorporate consideration and promotion of Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity efforts as an integral aspect of the review process for institutions seeking federal funding from DOE OFES
  • Recommendation A-4: Create an accessible environment for all members of our community
  • Recommendation A-5: Increase funding opportunities for underrepresented groups
  • Recommendation A-6: Create Parental Leave Policies

More details on these recommendations can be found in the Community Plan. For more information on the community planning process, click here.

APS Programs

APS offers Climate Site Visits to:

  1. Provide an outside appraisal of the environment experienced by women and minorities within the department or lab, and
  2. Provide suggestions to leadership for interventions or changes that can address practices that might limit or reduce participation by underrepresented groups. 

More from APS