The Broadening Participation Program is an initiative that allows staff to use up to 3% of their time for diverse, equitable and inclusive (DEI) and outreach activities that complement their regular work duties. The mission of the program is to distribute responsibility for DEI efforts such as improvements to the workplace culture, participation in public engagement events and community-building activities, and to increase knowledge of DEI best practices in the workplace. The program is a pillar of DEI at NOIRLab, and the activities outlined below represent only some of the work being done to make a more inclusive culture.
Learning about DEI
NOIRLab keeps DEI at the forefront of workplace discussions, and encourages all staff to engage with DEI topics. NOIRLab frequently hosts colloquium speakers to present on topics from Native Hawaiian culture, and managing stress in the workplace, to inclusive leadership and using inclusive language. Staff have access to resources such as LinkedIn Learning and certifications in DEI best practices. NOIRLab also offers regular series of internal discussions, such as Diversy-Con, a Spanish-language series of DEI discussions with a focus on Chile and South America, and the DEI Discussion Club, where staff are invited to present DEI-related articles or news, or lead an open conversation about a particular topic in DEI.
The NOIRLab Kindness Project aims to promote a healthier working culture through the practice of kindness. Inspired by the Ben’s Bells program, founded in Tucson, Arizona, this project includes many efforts: sharing monthly articles about kindness on the Intranet, calling out colleagues on internal communications channels for their acts of kindness in and out of the workplace, and Kindness Day, which is an annual celebration when staff are invited to build kindness chains and show them in a virtual meeting across all NOIRLab.
Women and Girls in Science
International Day of Women and Girls in Science in February, and International Women’s Day in March celebrate the people who identify as women or girls in science. These special days are celebrated prominently throughout NOIRLab and other AURA centers. We focus on aiming to promote and create opportunities for equitable access to participation in science. Women from NOIRLab share advice and positive messages with future women in science in a social media campaign.
Conversations about DEI
NOIRLab offers many different spaces for discussions about DEI, including the Diversy-Con series and the Discussion club, when staff are invited to present articles or news, or lead open discussions about DEI. Leaders and experts in DEI research are invited to lead colloquia about site-specific topics, and these sessions are built into a digital library for employees to reference as a learning resource. Local events, such as a DEI-related talk given at the University of Arizona or the University of La Serena, or webinars, are broadcast throughout the NOIRLab calendars so staff can take advantage of these community resources and bring the knowledge and ideas back to internal staff.
NOIRLab’s DEI Committee
Our DEI committee is a group of 11 people from all NOIRLab Programs and Services who share a passion for DEI. Membership includes: the DEI Officer, the NOIRLab Diversity Advocates, who also represent NOIRLab on the AURA Equity and Inclusion Council, a representative of HR, two members of leadership, and four volunteers who represent the different careers and programs across the Lab. Their goal is to launch and support DEI programs and activities and through the DEI officer provide advice to NOIRLab Director on DEI.
Lars Lindberg Christensen
Directory of Rubin Operations
SOAR Observing Support Specialist/CTIO/RSS
Science Operations Specialist/Gemini/RSS
Head of Communications, Education & Engagement (CEE)
Senior Project and Portfolio Coordinator
Diversity Advocate/NOIRLab Director's Office
Observing Specialist/Rubin/DEI Officer
The contact email for the DEI Committee is firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOIRLab’s Workplace Values were created and voted on by staff. Each one of the values is a fundamental part of how NOIRLab conducts scientific research and contributes to astronomical knowledge. Diversity and Inclusion are values that are put into action at NOIRLab, and staff action is enabled by all of the initiatives and learning opportunities offered by the DEI infrastructure. Employees who uphold the workplace values are nominated by their peers and receive an award during quarterly and annual virtual ceremonies.