As you may already know, following the ICLS 2020 conference, several steps were taken to increase equity and inclusion within the International Society of the Learning Sciences. Two of the most visible include the creation of a standing Equity and Justice Committee, co-chaired by Drs. Kris Gutierrez and Shirin Vossoughi, and a pilot program to establish affiliate groups with adjacent researchers in Japan and Brazil, led by Drs. Jun Oshima and Paulo Blikstein. In addition to those initiatives, I am pleased to announce that ISLS has now secured a 3-year grant from the Wallace Foundation to support additional equity and inclusion initiatives. These newly-funded initiatives include:
- A research grant program for emerging scholars (e.g., graduate students, new professionals, and assistant professors) from underrepresented and minoritized communities
- Scholarships to enable first-time ISLS Annual meeting attendance intended for individuals whose ethnic and racial identities have been typically underrepresented in the Society.
- An invited online speaker series featuring established researchers in or adjacent to the learning sciences who have experiences and insights to share regarding equity and inclusion
This is the first time that ISLS has received such extramural funding, and it reflects our ongoing commitment to continually improve as a society that supports outstanding scholars coming from a broad set of life experiences and epistemological perspectives. Drs. Leema Berland and Maxine McKinney de Royston have agreed to assemble and lead a team of ISLS members who will be working out many of the details for these initiatives and supporting their implementation. Look for forthcoming announcements as these initiatives become further specified.
Wishing you and your loved ones health and safety,
Victor R. Lee, Ph.D.
ISLS President, 2020-2021