Visions by WIMIN
The Women in Molecular Imaging Network (WIMIN) had the foresight to gather data and explore topics of racism, retention and representation of the unrepresented population through a series of articles published in Molecular Imaging in Biology. We invite you to read more about their studies and share your thoughts by reaching out to the WIMIN directly via email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow them on Twitter (@WIMIN_WMIS).
Akam E, Azevedo C, Chaney AM, Dhanvantari S, Edwards KJ, Henry KE, Ibhagui OY, Ijoma JN, Ikotun OF, Mack KN, Nagle VL, Pereira PMR, Purcell ML, Sanders VA, Shokeen M, Wang X. Visions by Women in Molecular Imaging Network: Antiracism and Allyship in Action. Mol Imaging Biol. 2021 Jun;23(3):301-309.
[ Access article ]
Recent events in America in 2020 have stimulated a worldwide movement to dismantle anti-Black racism in all facets of our lives. Anti-Black racism is, as defined by the Movement for Black Lives, a “term used to specifically describe the unique discrimination, violence, and harm imposed on and impacting Black people specifically.” In science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), we have yet to achieve the goal and responsibility to ensure that the field reflects the diversity of our lived experiences. Members of the Women in Molecular Imaging Network (WIMIN) have come together to take a stand on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of molecular imaging. We strongly condemn oppression in all its forms and strive to identify and dismantle barriers that lead to inequities in the molecular imaging community and STEM as a whole. In this series coined “Visions” (Antiracism and Allyship in Action), we identify and discuss specific actionable items for improving diversity and representation in molecular imaging and ensuring inclusion of all members of the community, inclusive of race, disability, ethnicity, religion, or LGBTQ+ identity. Although the issues highlighted here extend to other under-recruited and equity-seeking groups, for this first article, we are focusing on one egregious and persistent form of discrimination: anti-Black racism. In this special article, Black women residing in America present their lived experiences in the molecular imaging field and give candid insights into the challenges, frustrations, and hopes of our Black friends and colleagues. While this special article focuses on the experiences of Black women, we would like the readers to reflect on their anti-Blackness toward men, transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people. From the vulnerability we have asked of all our participants, these stories are meant to inspire and invoke active antiracist work among the readership. We present strategies for dismantling systemic racism that research centers and universities can implement in the recruitment, retention, mentorship, and development of Black trainees and professionals. We would like to specifically acknowledge the Black women who took the time to be interviewed, write perspectives, and share their lived experiences in hopes that it will inspire genuine and lasting change. [ Access article ]
Mol Imaging Biol. 2022 Mar 17:1-7.
[ Access article ]
Mentorship is a fundamental aspect that contributes to the success of a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), particularly in academia. Research suggests that underrepresented minorities (URMs) often experience less quality mentorship and face barriers to finding successful mentor-mentee relationships. URM trainees in STEM face challenges that are not encountered by their majority peers or mentors, adding another level of complexity to establishing important relationships. Mentors of URM trainees must therefore mentor beyond general scientific training and tailor their mentorship to be more culturally appropriate and inclusive, allowing URM trainees to bring their whole selves to the table and leading to their effective socialization. Herein, we present the perspectives of group leaders and trainees from around the globe to highlight key aspects of creating successful mentor-mentee relationships that are sustainable and productive for both parties. [ Access article ]
Ijoma JN, Sahn M, Mack KN, Akam E, Edwards KJ, Wang X, Surpur A, Henry KE. Visions by WIMIN: BIPOC Representation Matters. Mol Imaging Biol. 2022 Jun;24(3):353-358.
[ Access article ]
Racial, ethnic, and gender representation in an academic setting means that teachers, professors, and other leaders reflect the demographics of the student body in the educational and professional spaces that they serve. This form of representation, which is often intersectional, strengthens communities and improves student outcomes, from as early as primary and secondary education, through to college education and beyond. Representation matters because it can shape the reputation and self-image of women and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) within environments dominated by over-represented majorities (ORMs). From the perspective of BIPOC women trainees, the lack of BIPOC faculty who are visible minorities, particularly at the most senior level positions, often conjures questions of whether academia is a realistic career path for aspiring minority students. This article focuses on the key component of representation in the United States (U.S.), highlighting our vision for a solution for the so-called “leaky pipeline” for BIPOC in science, technology, engineering, and mathematic with action items to end it. [ Access article ]