Cedar Creek is home to the world’s longest-running biodiversity experiment, which has revealed that plant diversity substantially increases ecosystem productivity and stability. It is the differences and interactions between species that produces an ecosystem that is greater than the sum of its constituent parts. In parallel lines of research, social scientists have found that human diversity can enhance the learning, outcomes, and creativity of teams. When these benefits of diversity are combined with equity and inclusion, individuals and teams can thrive. Cedar Creek is also at the meeting point of major grassland and forest biomes, the ancestral and contemporary homelands of the Dakota and Ojibwe Indigenous Peoples, and urban and rural communities. For these reasons and many others, the Cedar Creek community of staff, faculty, students and alumni share a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. We appreciate the urgency of turning this commitment into action across all areas of our mission, and are working to do so.
Cedar Creek DEIJ Committee
Cedar Creek has a standing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice committee that is open to all stakeholders. We actively include representation from faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate interns. Email DEIJ Fellow Mariana Cárdenas at email@example.com to be added to the email list and calendar invitation! Our committee meets monthly (currently on the last Thursday of each month at 3pm) to learn, discuss, and make progress on our strategic plan (below). Our plan has three main goals:
1. Increase the representational diversity of people recruited and retained at Cedar Creek.
2. Build an inclusive climate that allows the Cedar Creek community to bond and interact feeling safe, supported, and accepted.
3. Pursue collaborative approaches to community engagement that value the knowledge in communities from local to global.
Our DEIJ leadership committee currently includes Dr. Caitlin Barale Potter (Associate Director, Cedar Creek), Dr. Daniel Stanton (Assistant Professor in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior), Mariana Cárdenas (graduate student and Cedar Creek DEIJ Fellow), and Dr. Peter Kennedy (Associate Dean for Research; Professor in Plant and Microbial Biology).