Calls On the STEM Field To Evaluate Policies and Practices To Eliminate Discrimination in Hiring, Promoting, Retaining Workers
SANTA CRUZ, CA — Dr. Sonia I. Zárate, President of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) issued the following statement in celebration of the Supreme Court’s decision on civil rights protections for LGBTQ workers:
“We live in a time when historically excluded populations are challenging the rules that normalize abuses of power. We celebrate the Supreme Court’s ruling extending civil rights protections to gay, lesbian, and transgender workers. The ruling mandates that practices and policies must apply to ALL workers. The ruling also sends a strong message that assumptions, prejudice, and bias, particularly those involved with hiring, promoting, and retention of members of the LGBTQ in STEM are unlawful and will no longer be tolerated.
In order to achieve true diversity in the STEM field, agencies, organizations, companies, and institutions of higher education must reflect on their role in creating and maintaining the uneven landscape in STEM. Together, we must work to ensure safe STEM workplaces.”
Following are the biographies of SACNAS spokespersons and members available for interviews. Coordinate an interview by contacting Yamila Pino at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-440-1432.
SACNAS Official Spokesperson
Sonia Zárate, received her BS in Biology from Cal Poly Pomona and her PhD in Plant Molecular Biology from UC Riverside. As a graduate student and a postdoc she studied how plants perceive and respond to infestation and infection at the molecular level. Dr. Zárate’s long-standing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM includes her work as a Program Officer for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and in her role as President of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). As the fourth woman to lead SACNAS in its 45-year history and the first President to have benefitted from SACNAS since she was an undergraduate, Dr. Zárate is committed to continuing to lead national efforts to ensure that science is able to benefit from the potential that a diverse scientific workforce holds. Prior to her current appointment at HHMI, she was the Director for the Office of Undergraduate Research at the University of San Diego (USD) and the PI for an NSF-REU focused on transfer and veteran students and Co-PI for a UBE IUSE grant to enhance undergraduate biology education. Dr. Zárate also served as the Associate Director for the Undergraduate Research Center-Sciences at UCLA where she directed the NIH-MARC U-STAR, NIH-Bridges, NIH-IMSD, UC LEADS and the HHMI Undergraduate Research Fellows programs.
For over 47 years, SACNAS has served as an inclusive organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanics & Native Americans, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership within STEM.
Today, the organization serves a growing community of over 20,000 supporters, 8,200+ members, and 115+ student and professional chapters throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. SACNAS influences the STEM diversity movement through STEM outreach & advocacy, promotion of STEM leaders, and The SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference. Learn more about SACNAS at sacnas.org, Facebook, or Twitter.