NNCI Hosts Anti-Racism Town Hall

On June 24th, the NNCI hosted a town hall for all NNCI stakeholders including facility users, students, staff, and faculty. The Town Hall was led by Jacob Jones (RTNN), the chair of the NNCI Diversity Subcommittee, who was joined by a panel of Diversity Subcommittee members Liney Arnadottir (NNI), Bruce Clemens (nano@Stanford), Kristin Field (MANTH), Mike Hochella (NanoEarth), Sherine Obare (SENIC), Chris Ober (CNF), Heather Rauser (MONT), and Bill Wilson (CNS) as well as SEI expert David Berube (RTNN). RTNN staff members provided logistical support, answered questions, and directed comments to the panel.

The Town Hall provided a safe venue for candid conversations about race. Oliver Brand (Director of the NNCI Coordinating Office) began the meeting by confirming his and the Coordinating Office’s strong support for the Town Hall and reinforcing the importance of the event. Jacob Jones provided context for the Town Hall by reviewing the results of the 2019 NNCI staff climate survey and the action items that resulted. Panelists and participants then shared their personal experiences with racism as well as those of their students and facility users. Participants used an interactive polling app to answer questions posed by the Subcommittee in real time. They reflected on their perceptions of user experiences in nanotechnology facilities in regards to racism and their knowledge of available resources to combat racism in these facilities. During the event, participants discussed strategies for facilities moving forward and provided the Subcommittee with numerous anti-racism actions.

The NNCI Diversity Subcommittee also collated a list of relevant resources (copied below) for all participants. NNCI participants who wish to be included in future NNCI meetings and conversations surrounding anti-racism can complete this form.