Diversity
Diversity Policy
The Center recognizes the value of diversity in all of its activities and for the scientific enterprise more broadly. The Center strives to provide an environment that encourages the richer exchange of ideas that a diverse group of members enables. The Center provides a welcoming and inclusive environment to all of its members: undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, senior researchers, faculty, short- and long-term visitors, and staff. In accordance with University policy, the Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a physical or mental disability unrelated to ability, veteran status, military status, unfavorable discharge from military service, citizenship status, genetic information, marital status, parental status, ancestry, source of income, credit history, housing status, order of protection status, actual or perceived association with such a person or other protected classes under the law. The Center also embraces and adheres to the University's policy on Freedom of Expression.

As part of providing a welcoming environment for all within the Center, harassment will not be tolerated. The Center is a part of the University of Chicago, which possesses a comprehensive and well-defined set of policies and procedures for dealing with unlawful harassment. The Center adheres fully to these policies and all reported cases of unlawful harassment will be investigated and handled according to these policies.

Visitors play a vital role in the scientific mission of the Center; some come as short or long-term members to collaborate or present talks; others attend Center organized or sponsored conferences or workshops, which may be held on the UChicago campus or at nearby hotels or institutions (e.g., UChicago's Gleacher Center, Fermilab or Argonne). The Center embraces the guidelines for scientific meetings set out in the American Astronomical Society's (AAS) Anti-Harassment Policy for Meetings and Activities. Cases of alleged harassment at Center-sponsored conferences, workshops, or other similar events will be handled within the context and spirit of these guidelines with the role of the AAS being replaced by that of the Center. All meeting participants will be informed of this policy in their invitation letter.

Diversity Plan
The Center recognizes the importance and value of diversity to its scientific, educational and outreach missions and, more broadly, to the science enterprise. The Center thus seeks to increase the participation of women and under-represented minorities within the Center and in the wider area encompassed by the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The Center has developed programs and procedures to advance diversity in all of its activities and to increase the representation of, and to promote opportunities for, groups traditionally under-represented in Physics and Astronomy, especially women and under-represented minorities within the Center and beyond. Below is a summary of some of our current programs and procedures designed to promote diversity.

Scientific activities including visitors and meetings
  • The Center strives to create a welcoming, inclusive, diverse, and professional environment for all of its members and visitors as they further their scientific careers and is always open to suggestions for improving our environment.
  • Committees responsible for inviting speakers and visitors are charged by the Director to strive for a group of individuals that represent the full diversity of our scientific discipline (gender, under-represented groups, geographic and institutional).
  • The organizers of Center-sponsored Workshops and Conferences are similarly charged to strive for a diverse group of attendees, invited speakers and session chairs.
  • To the best of its abilities, the Center keeps self-reported statistics on the demographics of participants at all of its events so that it can track progress in diversity and identify areas of concern.

Education, Outreach & Diversity Programs
  • The KICP employs a full-time Director of Education, Outreach & Diversity (currently Randall Landsberg) who initiates, coordinates and monitors our activities in these areas.
  • The Center is committed to working with under-represented minority (URM) students from the Chicago Public School System to build interest in pursuing further education and careers in STEM fields. Our primary activity in this area is the longstanding Space Explorers program, which provides inner city youth over 100 hours per year of contact time with KICP researchers seeking to increase the student's appreciation of science.
  • The Center is committed to creating research opportunities for women and URM undergraduate students. The Center supports undergraduate students for research assistantships throughout the year, including the summer. As in all Center activities, diversity is a goal in choosing students to participate in these assistantships. The Center has partnered with the University of Texas at El Paso, an institution which serves a primarily URM student body, bringing in undergraduates to the Center to participate in a Summer Research program each year. The Center partners with The University of Chicago's Department of Physics' Summer REU program, which also focuses on women and URM's, to provide Summer Research opportunities for students.
  • The Center sponsors and participates in activities to promote the UChicago Society for Women in Physics and to support their mission of increasing opportunities for women in the physical sciences.
  • The Center participates in the Fisk-Vanderbilt Bridge program, which targets URM students. Graduate Students participate in Center research projects for a summer, exposing them to top tier experimental projects which may not be available to them at their home institution. In some cases, these short-term projects grow into long-term partnerships, resulting in dissertations from the student's home institution but based upon their research at the Center.
  • The Center reaches beyond its boundaries through a broad array of programs, special events, and partnerships with the Adler Planetarium, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and other local partners. These activities in the multi-cultural city that Chicago is reach many students (and their parents) and help to promote broader participation in STEM careers.
  • The Center currently hosts "Life Long Learning Series" - lectures to older adults throughout Chicago to bring basic and cutting-edge content in astrophysics to interested older adults at city senior centers, retirement homes, and public libraries.
  • NSF AAPF and PFC@KICP Fellow Jason Henning's outreach efforts focus upon demystifying the research process for broader audiences including museum visitors and staff, inner-city youth and social media viewers.