HERE'S WHAT WE WANT.
At the Life Course Center, we believe that the creation of a diverse and inclusive community is central to maintaining the excellence of all of our projects.
Our definition of diversity extends beyond race and gender and includes socioeconomic status, religion, gender identity and expression, disability, age, career status, and more. As a center, we aspire to create a space that promotes inclusiveness and creates opportunities. We seek to expand access for and support persons who identify as members of systemically excluded groups.
HERE'S HOW WE LIVE IT.
In 2020, we received funding from the National Institute on Aging to become a P30 Center on the Demography and Economics of Aging. Our research priorities reflect our commitment to investigations focusing on the social, economic, and environmental contexts shaping disparities in aging. We have set an explicit goal to increase the diversity of the scholars who engage with LCC and the broader community of scholars who study aging. To do this, we are intentional about supporting scholars from systemically excluded groups with interests in aging.
Our newest initiative, as part of the P30 funding, is the Network for Data-Intensive Research on Aging (NDIRA). NDIRA is an interdisciplinary research community using novel data collections for research on population aging. Through NDIRA, we work to engage new users in this research space, lower barriers to using complex data in which LCC members have expertise, and connect NDIRA members to build community. Fostering a robust research community that provides training opportunities and actively promoting membership to systemically excluded groups is central to our diversity, equity, and inclusion work.
LCC members mentor students as part of their research projects through the Diversity Fellowship Program hosted by the Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation, which houses the LCC. This program recruits undergraduate and graduate students from systemically excluded groups to work with LCC member faculty on demographic and economics of aging research projects.
We adapted our research dissemination and training opportunities to virtual formats in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Offering virtual formats for these events has enabled participation for a broader audience, increased our online resource offerings, and expanded accessibility. As in-person events resume, we continue to structure resources shared in ways that promote accessibility through virtual resources and presentations.
We facilitate attendance of in-person training opportunities by funding scholars to attend academic conferences and workshops at LCC headquarters. Our selection criteria for funding reflects our equity commitments to expanding access to persons from systematically excluded groups.