Statement on Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The faculty, staff, and student leaders of Earth and Environmental Engineering are committed to making the Department a diverse, nurturing, and nondiscriminatory community founded upon the basic principles that all of its members are equal and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

Columbia Engineering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Columbia Engineering and the wider University are deeply committed to cultivating a global community of scholars and researchers devoted to academic excellence and the translation of ideas into broad impact.

Unintentionally and/or intentionally, we have excluded representative numbers of black, indigenous, and people of color from our ranks. In doing so, we have done a great disservice to science and ourselves. An unequivocal commitment to anti-racist practices and policies is imperative to the strive to be a just institution, our ability to undertake creative, innovative, salient, and impactful research, and our responsibilities in educating, cultivating, and mentoring the next generation of engineers and scientists. It is the duty of our entire community to confront racism, biases, and discriminations. We must consciously work to change how we approach our understanding of race and racial injustices. We believe that acknowledgement, active listening, and advocacy for appropriate actions are vital to undoing institutionalized and systemic racial inequity. Structural racism affects us all, within the department and beyond.

Our goal is to create a progressive, anti-racist, inclusive community. We must each, unfailingly, uphold the principal values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our daily practices. We must make meaningful anti-discriminatory changes to our existing academic and research systems. We recognize these challenges and have established a Working Group to unreservedly identify the current disparities and gaps, and propose corrective actions to yield consequential and lasting change. With representation from the faculty and students, the working group has been charged with recommending plans and programs that will help build a departmental culture that prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion at every level. We are united in our resolve to recruit and retain people from historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups. Only then will our science be able to achieve its vast potential for meeting the global environmental challenges.

The thoughts, words, and actions of every single member of our community matters. We recognize the significance of this moment and how we respond matters. We want to take this opportunity to listen to and amplify voices in our community that are often silenced; encourage our community to speak up in allyship with colleagues and neighbors who might not have a voice; and engage in actions that will cultivate meaningful change and cultural transformation within and beyond.