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December 1, 2022

Breaking Barriers in STEM

Ruby Morillo

What do diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) mean to me? Broadly to me, it means having everyone represented in the field of STEM. It means creating equal opportunities regardless of your economic, cultural, or racial background. Not only that, but it is important to have spaces so people can express themselves without fear of extreme judgement or rejection from society. By creating these spaces, we hope to make people feel comfortable pursuing what they desire.

The field of STEM is already a challenging and competitive field, with people often fighting to make discoveries and claim them as their own. If we can limit the number of obstacles people face to access via DEI, we can widen pathways for people to access STEM so that systemic barriers preventing access can be broken.

The goal is to provide spaces where individuals feel safe to share, and through that empower each other rather than working against each other. It is important to accumulate these different perspectives as well because everyone has a different background which can help with the advancement of science.

As a Hispanic/Canadian individual, it's often easy to feel out of place at school. At Rosenstiel, I found that most individuals in the program were American. Which as a Canadian I found that I could relate to some topics but the other half of me found it difficult. Knowing that there are these spaces where I can identify with other students who may feel out of place is very comforting. It makes me feel that I have people to relate to when I am far from home. It is also important to have these spaces to have those difficult conversations that may be hard to bring up.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are important for bringing people together and addressing difficult topics. Without it, various fields have to potential to become biased.