The Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) Diversity Committee has three primary aims: (1) to enhance diversity of the membership of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) and foster a welcoming and inclusive climate at RSA; (2) to increase the breadth of research presented at the Annual Meeting of relevance to population diversity; (3) to foster the careers of under-represented members. The term diversity includes but is not be limited to: sex, age, ethnicity, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, social class, and ability.
To achieve the first aim, increasing membership diversity, the Committee may conduct ongoing assessments of salient characteristics of attendees and presenters at the annual meeting, promote diversity in RSA leadership, increase the commitment of the organization to seek out opportunities to support underrepresented groups, identify and recruit promising researchers from under-represented groups, and coordinate RSA activities to address important issues involving the inclusiveness and diversity-related climate of the society. The Committee also may develop resources for public education and outreach beyond RSA.
The second aim of the Diversity Committee, to enhance the breadth of population diversity research presented at RSA, focuses on the importance of addressing the full scope of the problem of alcohol misuse and its broad effects on diverse individuals and populations. This aim, which aligns with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Policy and Guidelines on the inclusion of women and minorities as subjects in clinical research and the NIH policy on the consideration of sex as a biological variable in NIH-funded research, extends beyond NIH policies to encompass a wider range of diverse populations. To achieve the aim of stimulating and improving the science related to diverse population characteristics, both human and animal, the Committee may assess the diversity representation of research topics, encourage and support submission of presentations for the Annual Meeting on diverse topics, and disseminate resources of relevance to diversity research.
To accomplish the third aim, the Diversity Committee may foster the careers of underrepresented members through events during the RSA annual meeting, recognize research excellence among underrepresented groups, and facilitate networking opportunities for individual researchers conducting research to decrease health disparities and increase health equity. The Committee also will provide mentorship and professional enrichment opportunities to RSA members from underrepresented groups through workshops, networking, and informal mentoring.
Members of the Committee are expected to attend the annual RSA conference, attend the Diversity Committee meeting at the conference, and assist with activities that assess and promote diversity at the annual meeting, including collaboration with other RSA Committees as appropriate to facilitate events in support of the Diversity Committee’s mission.