Statement of Values

Boots Lab Statement of Values

“We will act to promote antiracist ideas and enact antiracist policies to fight racial inequality in society and academia.”


  1. We will advertise all available positions in the lab, attempting to reach as broad an audience as possible.
  2. We will work to recruit BIPOC, women, and/or LGBTQIA+ people.
  3. We consider diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work as valuable experience and criteria for appointment.

Creating and maintaining an inclusive environment:

  1. We are committed to personally educating ourselves about the history of racial injustice and current issues in academia and beyond.
  2. We are committed to staying up-to-date on best practices for equity and inclusion and implementing them whenever possible.
  3. We are committed to listening to our BIPOC, women, and/or LGBTQIA+ lab members and colleagues about their experiences of discrimination and supporting them.
  4. We are committed to reflecting on our own behavior and privileges, and working to fight racism wherever we may find it, including within ourselves.
  5. We will make sure that training, mentoring, funding, and networking opportunities are equitably offered and distributed within the lab.
  6. We will share learnings, resources, activities, and best practices with the lab to foster active conversations about equity and inclusion. 
  7. We will devote a semesterly lab meeting to explicitly reevaluate our lab climate and how we have upheld and could improve on this statement of values.
  8. We support lab members using their time to contribute to department, campus, field, or public DEI work as a key part of being a responsible member of the scientific community. We will specifically share our work in these areas during lab meetings and on Slack to recognize its importance and discuss ways to get involved.

Stance on discrimination within the lab:

  1. We are committed to work against discrimination and harassment in our lab and broader community. We pledge to promote antiracist ideas on a daily basis, and actively speak out against racist remarks, microaggressions, and discrimination.
  2. Avenues for reporting 
    1. You may report incidents to Professor Boots or other lab members anonymously or by name.
    2. For more serious incidents, the IB GSAO, cohort advisors, head graduate advisor, equity advisors, and chair can all respond to reports.
    3. You may also file a report anonymously or by name on the UC Systemwide Intolerance Reporting Form
  3. We will not retaliate against any reports of harassment or discrimination in the lab, instead welcoming criticisms and seeking to educate ourselves to prevent such instances from recurring. We will also support lab members in the event of reporting discrimination at the department or university level.
  4. We are committed to addressing and learning from all instances that make the lab climate unsupportive, not only instances that require formal intervention.


  1. We will not collaborate with Professors/researchers who refuse to hire Black students and those with a history of sexual harassment. We will extend this to people who discriminate against any minoritized group.
  2. We will support trainees building diverse mentoring networks, including giving trainees full control over the composition of their committees, so that they can choose mentors who will support them.
  3. We will actively seek collaborations outside of our immediate networks in order to promote diversity in our work.
  4. We will promote an open and inclusive work culture in our field and beyond. 
  5. We will promote and cite work of BIPOC, women, and/or LGBTQIA+ scholars.
  6. We pledge to amplify the voices of BIPOC, women, and/or LGBTQIA+ scholars on a daily basis.

Role in the wider community:

  1. Lab members are encouraged to participate in outreach activities that foster science education in the community. 
    1. Bay Area Scientists in Schools (BASIS)
    2. Skype a Scientist
    3. Future Advancers of Science and Technology (FAST)
    4. Communication, Literacy, and Education in Agricultural Research (CLEAR)
    5. Expanding your Horizons
    6. Bridges to Baccalaureate (NIH B2B)
  2. We will actively consider the implications of our work, especially when related to applied human and agricultural disease, in the context of its possible impacts on racial justice and equity. We will be active in sharing these implications with a broader audience through social media, news articles, etc. 

Field research:

  1. We will actively work towards efforts to decolonize field research, only engaging in projects that foster equal collaboration, participation, and authorship opportunity between foreign and local researchers from diverse backgrounds.
  2. We condemn research that extracts data, samples, or ideas from local communities. We are committed to using our position of privilege to amplify and support the voice of local researchers, as well as develop scientific capacity in our study regions.
  3. We will actively consider the context and regularly reevaluate the implications of our science and collaborations in our study regions.
  4. We will work with members of our lab to consider fieldwork safety in the context of possible race or other identity-related dangers.
  5. We will work to foster academic and intellectual collaborations with foreign counterparts that are not exclusively based in field research but also include conceptual and theoretical work.


  1. The lab will provide research opportunities for undergraduate students of diverse backgrounds. 
  2. When selecting students, we prioritize finding students who demonstrate interest and understanding of conceptual aspects of the lab work and consider skill sets developed through work and other experience, so that we do not only select students who have had the opportunity to conduct research previously. 
  3. When working with undergrads, we will strive to provide financial support, or at least course credit, to open up opportunities for a broad range of students who are not able to volunteer their time. 
  4. The lab will provide undergraduates with the opportunity to provide feedback for their graduate student/postdoc mentors (in whatever degree of anonymity they are comfortable with) to ensure the mentor/mentee relationship is a positive and affirming one. 
  5. We actively recruit undergraduates through the URAP, work-study, and paid summer programs (B2B, SMART) to ensure that our open positions are widely and equitably advertised. 


We affirm that we will uphold these values to the best of our abilities.

Signed by:

Elisa Visher

Claire Evensen

Nina Sokolov

Graham Northrup

Mike Boots

Cara Brook

Sarah Guth

Laura Alexander


June 26, 2020