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IDEA Committee Memorandum of Understanding
As stated in our mission statement, the members of the IDEA Committee are engaged in tackling racism, fostering diverse and inclusive spaces, and pushing for equity in the Biology Department at Duke. We recognise that this is difficult work: it is emotionally taxing, it is time-consuming, it is not always well received, and it goes unpaid. But we also recognise that the work can be rewarding and may create better conditions for those who come after us. For many, this work is also an act of self-preservation.
We recognise that all our paths are different, and that we are also in different places on our paths towards inclusiveness, diversity, equity, and anti-racism.
As members of this committee we pledge:
- To be humble: we will listen. We will not presume the experience of another.
- To be honest: if we make a mistake, we will sit with that mistake, acknowledge it, and ask for forgiveness from hurt parties.
- To not be mean nor cruel: this includes, but is not limited to, no insults nor name calling.
- To make this space as safe as possible for others: be mindful of the biases you may be bringing into a conversation, and act against them.
- To keep all internal conversations and interactions CONFIDENTIAL.
- But to be transparent in our goals and our process, as this work is done in large part for the benefit of the community.
- To value others: this includes, but is not limited to, never shutting someone down.
- To work on our own biases and educating ourselves on our own time: IDEA is not meant to be group therapy. The co-chairs will reach out to a person if they feel they are using this space inappropriately.
- To be involved: work on at least one upkeep task or initiative per semester.
- To be inclusive: listen to the voices of all. Importantly, the co-chairs will not make executive decisions—all decisions will be made by majority or consensus, depending on the matter at hand. Co-chairs may, however, decide on the wording of urgent email responses.