A Message from Dr. Amlung
As the Director of the lab and a faculty member, I believe strongly in reflecting and acknowledging the privileges I have experienced in my career. I also am actively working to increase diversity, inclusion, and opportunities in my training and research activities. I understand that this is an ongoing process that requires commitment and sustained effort.
I acknowledge the following:
First, I recognize the honor and privilege I have to conduct my scholarly work on the ancestral territories of the indigenous peoples of this land. The importance of acknowledging the substantial intergenerational trauma imposed on the indigenous peoples of this country cannot be overstated. See below for our Indigenous Land Acknowledgment.
Second, I recognize the immense benefits of access to educational and career advancement opportunities that are not equally available to so many others, including my female and underrepresented minority colleagues. Promoting Women in Science and Diversity in Science are central to my mentoring goals and critically important to advancing scientific research.
Third, I acknowledge that as a white person I am a part of systemic forces that continue to directly and indirectly disenfranchise my Black colleagues and other persons of color. Black Lives Matter in all contexts, including in science, academia, and mental health care.
Fourth, I understand that as a cisgender straight man, I am sheltered from the stigma and discrimination experienced by my colleagues from the LGBTQIA+ community. We should all work to create an environment in which every person feels safe, welcomed, and empowered to participate in any way they choose, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Fifth, I believe that ensuring accessibility and equity are essential for people who live with disabilities, whether these be physical, intellectual, medical, mental health, or other forms of disability.
I challenge my colleagues and trainees to educate ourselves; to acknowledge our roles and privilege; to listen and sit with the uncomfortable feelings; to empower and amplify the work of our peers from marginalized groups; and to meaningfully contribute to the difficult work of charting a different path forward.
What steps are we taking?
Dr. Amlung (and our team members) are involved with several initiatives related to promoting diversity and inclusion
The Addictions Lab @ KU is a Positive Space that respects and celebrates all people. Our laboratory is a safe space for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other gender identities and sexual orientations. We educate ourselves about countering microaggressions and reducing stigma. We advocate for reducing homophobia, transphobia, cissexism, and heterosexism on our campus in order make KU a safer and more inclusive environment. We encourage sharing and using preferred pronouns.
Based on their personal interests and motivations, lab members are encouraged to increase their professional development by completing training related to creating safe spaces. As one example, Dr. Amlung supports his students enrolling in the Safe Zone Training offered by the The Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity at KU.
We acknowledge that the Addictions Lab @ KU resides on the ancestral territory of several tribal nations, including the Kaw Osage and Shawnee peoples. Specifically, KU occupies land ceded in an 1825 treat with the Kaw Treaty and a later treaty with the Shawnee treaty in 1854.
This land acknowledgement recognizes that Native Americans are traditional guardians of the land and that there is an enduring relationship between Native peoples and these traditional territories.
Our lab recognizes, advocates, and supports the sovereignty of the four-federally recognized tribes of Kansas, the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, the Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska and the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska.
We commit to creating a learning and working environment that respects all peoples, regardless of racial or ethnic background, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, mental illness, disability, or other dimension of human existence. More information
Addictions Lab @ KU - Dr. Michael Amlung, Lab Director
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