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POSTERS: Outreach and education

Planting Diversity: Novel Paths for Increasing Diversity and Inclusion in the Plant Sciences and Beyond
Jose Pablo Dundore-Arias - University of Minnesota. Crispin Taylor- American Society of Plant Biologists, David Stern- Boyce Thompson Institute, Christopher Peritore-Galve- Cornell University, Delanie Sickler- Plant Science Research Network, Natalie Henkhaus- Plant Science Research Network

Despite significant investments made over the past several decades to recruit individuals and increase participation of underrepresented minorities in sciences, these groups are still highly underrepresented in many plant science disciplines, including plant pathology. The Plant Science Research Network (PSRN), an NSF-funded RCN, organized a workshop to explore innovative ways of effectively broadening participation in the plant sciences and beyond. Through facilitated training and discussion, workshop participants began the 3-day retreat by developing a common language through lessons focused on cultural fluency, intersectionality, and equity. Participants engaged in dynamic conversations and facilitated activities aimed at envisioning new approaches to promote more inclusive and equitable plant science programs. Participants proposed significant, measurable, and potentially amplifying actions for advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in plant sciences. Opportunity gaps and systemic barriers that contribute to disparate levels of academic preparedness and research training skills were identified. Enrichment of equitable mentoring relationships beyond academic advising was recognized as critical to providing more inclusive plant science education at all levels. Pilot projects were proposed to take action in implementing innovative strategies for professional networking, increasing early exposure to plant science, and improved mentoring. Join us at plantae.org/PSRN to contribute to the discussion and learn more about the strategic recommendations and pilot projects.