Sprinting to Endow ASPB’s Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award

By now, we hope you have heard about ASPB’s major fundraising drive – the Centennial Challenge – leading up to ASPB’s 100th anniversary in 2024. Although components of the Centennial Challenge – the Pioneer of ASPB program, for example – are perennial, at a recent meeting of the Centennial Challenge Committee it was decided to also embark on a series of “sprints”, each with a more specific fundraising target in mind. And all, collectively, part of the overall Centennial Challenge.

The first of these sprints will be to fully endow the ASPB Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award (see below). More specifically, the intent is to raise at least $60,000 before the end of this calendar year.

There are several reasons that we have chosen to make this award endowment the target of our first sprint. It is entirely consistent with the principles behind our recently revised Diversity Statement, while demonstrating a deeper commitment to the principles articulated in that statement; it represents a significant signal in support of the larger efforts we are just beginning to undertake with sibling organizations in the ROOT&SHOOT RCN; and it is simply the right thing to do at this time.

Another important reason is that ASPB has recently received and accepted an anonymous, temporarily restricted donation that would fund the first award cycle. This gift would allow (indeed, require) the Society to name an inaugural award recipient next year and have that individual deliver a plenary talk at the Plant Biology 2023 conference, in Savannah, GA. If we achieve the goal of this sprint and have the endowment in place by the end of 2021, we expect to be able to continue the two-year cycle of this award uninterrupted in 2024 and beyond.

Donating in support of this award – or any of the other funds that collectively comprise the Centennial Challenge – is easy. Simply point your browser to this page: https://aspb.org/donation-funds/ and click on the green “Donate to ASPB Now” button to the right side. This will open a new browser window via which you can select a pre-populated amount or your own preferred gift; click on the “Select Funds” radio button adjacent to “Available Funds”; and then select “3 – Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award” from the drop-down menu that appears. (Or, if you’d prefer, select a different option.) Scroll to the bottom of the page and then hit the “Donate” button before either logging in to your ASPB account or checking out as a guest.

Thank you for your support; we will depend on your generosity to reach our goals.

Proposed Description of the ASPB-Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award

First awarded in 2022, the ASPB-Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award is a bi-annual award. This award honors an ASPB member with a strong record of increasing diversity and inclusiveness in the broad areas of plant biology. This individual has made a significant impact in mentoring, supporting, and/or advocating for underrepresented individuals in their careers in the plant sciences at any level. This individual may have made a significant impact in outreach and service to underrepresented communities and serves as a role model. The awardee will be invited to give a plenary lecture at the next annual meeting.

The selection committee shall consist of the most recent recipient of the award and three additional members serving for staggered terms of three award cycles. The president-elect will appoint the new member to the award committee which selects an awardee during that individual’s term as president.

The recipient will be given a cash award and the opportunity to accept the award from the president during the annual meeting awards ceremony. A travel allowance will also be provided from the endowment ROI for travel and meeting registration in the year of the plenary lecture.

Leave a Comment