DIG Awardees 2021-2022

Project Name: DEI and Science Communication

Project Lead: Melissa Joyce, Associate Program Director, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Awarded: $2,400

Outcome: The impetus for this project was a recognition that the field of science communication has a long-standing deficiency of diverse voices. The DEI and Science Communication project brought together a panel of experts to examine the barriers to entering the field of science communication, how those barriers can be removed, and why it is critical to remove them.

In April 2022, four distinguished experts came together for the “Expanding Our Universe: DEI and Science Communication” panel to explore the challenges and solutions to making newsrooms more diverse and increasing diversity in science coverage overall. Ninety-two people attended the virtual panel in real-time, and a webinar recording has been viewed more than 100 times.

As the project organizers recognize this is an ongoing conversation, they collated recurring themes and insights for further examination. Some of these themes include:

  • Increasing efforts to become familiar with historically underrepresented communities
  • Incorporating the perspective of the populations being written about
  • Finding an equity lens on any story
  • Increasing awareness around the importance of sensitivity readers

Project Name: GEARed for LGBTQ+ Aging, Health, & Wellness

Project Lead: Tony Teano, Communications Specialist, Center of Aging and Health

Awarded: $2,500

Outcome: This project aims to increase “cultural confidence” of those providing care to LGBTQ+ patients. As the expected lifespan for an LGBTQ+ resident of Baltimore City is 59 years of age and the life expectancy of non-LGBTQ+ residents is nearly 20 years longer, increasing expertise around LGBTQ populations is a critical need.

As a result of this project, 17 clinicians and 1 staff member obtained GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equity (formerly known as the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association) memberships, giving them access to interdisciplinary resources to enhance care for LGBTQ+ elders. Moreover, the 18 participants completed multiple courses designed to increase their capacity to serve LGBTQ+ patients and are able to share knowledge with their colleagues, increasing the impact of their learnings.