CIRES Statement on Anti-Racism


CIRES is committed to being an inclusive, anti-oppressive, anti-racist organization. To this end, we are taking an organizational development approach which interrogates our policies, systems, institutional data, and practices to eradicate bias and exclusionary presumptions, where they may exist. We are working to develop a culture in which people have clear expectations, fair processes and systems, and positive support to bring their whole self to work. 

Our work is informed by the calls to action of our BIPOC geosciences colleagues (here and here), and by the CU Boulder Inclusion, Diversity and Excellence in Academia (IDEA) plan

We know that environmental sciences research has historically been a predominantly white discipline, though recent advances are heartening. We are a predominantly white institute at a predominantly white institution. We recognize that the policies of academic institutions, including our own, have been shaped by institutionalized practices that adversely affect different races within our country to varying degrees. 

We recognize that BIPOC employees and students at CU Boulder experience disproportionate risks of violence and aggressions, discrimination and harassment both on campus and off. BIPOC scholars in geosciences experience microaggressions to a greater extent than white scholars and are at greater risk when conducting field research. In Colorado, police-involved violence disproportionately involves Black and Latinx people, to a greater extent than in other states with similar populations. All of this is unjust, traumatic and harmful to the well-being of BIPOC students and employees on campus.

Leaders within environmental sciences research organizations must address these truths, as a matter of integrity and as a matter of scientific excellence. 

In response, CIRES has taken several steps:

  • We are working to enact our strategic plan for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, which includes action to develop a more inclusive culture, to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce, and to develop meaningful partnerships with institutions and organizations that serve underrepresented people.
  • We have offered institute-wide professional development on systemic racism, effective partnerships with tribal communities and participated in inter-institute and campus anti-racism coursework. 
  • We are examining and addressing any compensation disparities that may exist among peers and along identity-based lines, as part of our implementation of the Colorado Equal Pay Act.
  • We have conducted extensive training for supervisors on how to practice inclusive hiring and performance management. 

We know that these steps are only the first of many steps that are needed. We welcome feedback on how we’re doing and we welcome internal and external collaboration and suggestions on how to move forward effectively. 


Please contact Susan Sullivan at to learn more about the CIRES Diversity and Inclusion program.

See the Events page to learn about upcoming workshops and conference exhibits, see the Culture page for information on the CIRES Workplace Culture survey results.   Join our mailing list at the bottom of any page.