Diversity-Focused UNITE Initiative Welcomes Stakeholders to Online Events

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
May 16, 2022

Since its inception in February 2021, the UNITE initiative at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been working to identify and address structural racism within the NIH-supported and the greater scientific community, and to establish an equitable and civil culture within the biomedical research enterprise and reduce barriers to racial equity in the biomedical research workforce.

As part of this work, the initiative has been conducting a series of public online sessions to present the latest data and ideas on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the biomedical workforce and in research, and featuring leaders from the NIH community as well as other experts from the biomedical research community.

The next session is planned for Wednesday, May 18. It’s titled “The STRIVE Initiative — Path to Enhancing Scientific Workforce Diversity (SWD).” A full archive of past events is also listed on the UNITE website. These help to achieve an initiative goal of fostering collaboration through sharing and discussing relevant data and salient topics with stakeholders.

One of the UNITE initiative’s co-chairs is Marie Bernard, MD, FGSA, FAGHE, who was appointed last year to the position of NIH chief officer for scientific workforce diversity after a long tenure as deputy director of the National Institute on Aging. Dr. Bernard has been doing a wonderful job in her new role, and it’s great to know that we have a long-time GSA member bringing a gerontological perspective to advance NIH’s work on diversity.

UNITE “aims to establish an equitable and civil culture within the biomedical research enterprise and reduce barriers to racial equity in the biomedical research workforce,” as stated on the website. GSA applauds the progress to date and the roadmap forward that it is creating. I encourage GSA members to keep up with its progress. This work is an effort that requires the engagement of all stakeholders.