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ABLS is committed to promoting and supporting diversity, equity and inclusion. We here adopt the International Association of Lichenology diversity and inclusion statement.

ABLS Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion Statement

I) ABLS Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion Statement

“The symbiotic nature and diversity of lichens and bryophytes have been historically a unifying theme for members of the American Bryological and Lichenological Society (ABLS), yet challenges to appreciate and celebrate inclusive interactions and diversity among ourselves remain. Because ABLS believes that diverse voices, thoughts, and backgrounds allow us to be stronger and function more effectively, it is our commitment to 1) create and foster atmospheres, work environments, and interpersonal relationships that value the diverse backgrounds we all contribute to the ABLS, 2) welcome and encourage the participation of all interested individuals in our association, 3) condemn and vigorously reject prejudice, stereotyping and/or any other form of discrimination wherever it is encountered in our profession, and 4) validate and support our members in their efforts to cultivate, advance and advocate for these ideas, regardless of the setting they are originating from. We ultimately strive to have an association where everybody feels welcomed and valued and where we celebrate our differences. Let’s model our interconnectivity as members of ABLS on mutualism, where everyone benefits from the synergy resulting from our interactions.”

II) Important definitions

These definitions were primarily used by the SSE (Society for the Study of Evolution) IDEA poll and modified from other organizations (e.g., Ford Foundation), as well as the AAM (American Alliance of Museums) Website.

  1. Inclusion: to build a respectful culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of all people, “beyond token participation and authority”.

  2. Diversity: is the representation of all our varied identities and differences (including but not limited to gender, race, ethnicity, physical and/or mental disability, sexual orientation, age, gender identity or expression, national origin, socio-economic status, thinking and communication styles, culture, subculture, politics, religion, etc.), collectively and as individuals.

  3. Equity: to seek and ensure fair treatment, equality of opportunity, and fairness in access to information and resources for all.

  4. Accessibility: giving equitable access to everyone along the continuum of human ability and experience.

  5. Historically underrepresented/excluded: groups who have been denied access and/or suffered past institutional discrimination including but not limited to racial and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, women, LGBTQ+, members of minority religious groups, individuals from less affluent socioeconomic statuses.

  6. Social justice: justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within all groups of a society.

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