Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Below is a summary of what we are doing to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community. Want to get to know talented researchers!? Follow and amplify #BlackinMicrobiome on Twitter.

Our values

In September 2020, we hosted a microbiome community circle to reflect and discuss how to embody our community's values as we build out the BCMM. The values that emerged are illustrated in the word cloud (right).


Ongoing efforts to support our community

Antiracist book club series

Every other month, we invite members to join us to discuss a text confronting racism and the experiences of being BIPOC in America. All sessions occur over zoom and be led by Patricia Sanchez, a graduate student in the Ethnic Studies program at San Francisco State University. Our hope is that these informed discussions on racism will provide us with the opportunity to learn, discuss and become active participants in our efforts to combat racism in our community.

DEI training required for all BCMM members

All eligible members (currently faculty and staff) are required to complete the UCSF Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training. Failure to complete this training will result in withdrawal of BCMM membership. View a schedule of trainings.

Recognize unconscious bias in the peer review process

Unconscious bias is known to impact the peer review process. In our instructions to reviewers for our 2020 Microbiome Research Program, we included the following:


As you review these applications toward potential funding, we ask that you acknowledge that intrinsic or unconscious biases exist and may impact your assessment of particular people or projects. We therefore ask you to be mindful of UCSF PRIDE values to honor diversity, inclusion, and equity and make every effort to maintain the highest level of fairness, consistency, and transparency in your review and decision-making processes. Please visit for more information.


Commitment to transparency

We believe that full transparency is essential to establish trust with all members of our community. As we establish policies for various BCMM activities, we will make them available on our BCMM website.

Amplify other DEI groups and events

When we learn of other antiracist or DEI-focused groups and events, we amplify their distribution via our Events page or social media (@ucsfmicrobiome). We hear about many events through the UCSF's Office of Diversity and Outreach 'Matter' Is the Minimum newsletter.

Bring more voices to the table

To amplify the voices of our trainees and give microbiome trainees an opportunity to serve in a leadership position, we created a new BCMM Ambassador role. The Ambassador participates in BCMM Executive Committee meetings, chairs a trainee subcommittee, and serves as a liaison between the BCMM trainee community and the Executive Committee. Our inaugural Ambassador is Joel Babdor, PhD.

Past and future BCMM events

June 19, 2020 - Community forum on combating racism

September 25, 2020 - Microbiome Community Circle: Exploring Values, Exploring Ourselves

October 7, 2020 - Antiracist Book Blub - Introduction

December 10, 2020 - Antiracist Book Club - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

February 11, 2021 - Antiracist Book Club - So you want to talk about race?

April 8, 2021 - Antiracist Book ClubSister Outsider

June 3, 2021 - Antiracist Book Club - Are Prisons Obsolete?

DEI Resources

Do you have other ideas or suggestions? Let us know (anonymously or not) via the form below.