2022 was a busy year for the ASB Diversity Committee, with several events at NACOB 2022 and two new initiatives, B-SURE and GRADE. We have more big plans for 2023 to improve equity in our Society and help us be effective change agents at our home institutions as well.

We need a new Chair of this committee for a three-year term starting in August 2023 – if you would like to be the next chair, please email asbdiversity@asbweb.org for instructions and further details.

At the 2022 NACOB meeting, ASB awarded Diversity Travel awards to 13 ASB student and early-career members to help defray their expenses. The Black Biomechanists Association held a 4-hour workshop on “Diversifying Your Workplace,” and the Diversity Lunch featured a discussion entitled “Successes and Challenges of Achieving Work-life Balance in Academia – Are We Supporting Everyone?” facilitated by Michelle Sabick and Wayne Albert. The Women In Science event, entitled “Elevating and Championing Each Other Through Sponsorship” featured small-group discussions of the four critical tactics for sponsorship, Amplify, Boost, Connect, and Defend, and specific actions we all can take to provide and benefit from sponsorship.

The B-SURE (Biomechanics Summer Undergraduate Research Experience) Program had its inaugural cohort with 5 undergraduate students working in the research labs of 5 ASB members for 8 weeks in summer 2022. The program was bookended by a kickoff panel featuring several current ASB graduate student members in June, and a virtual poster session with our 5 B-SURE recipients and several additional undergraduates who worked in ASB member laboratories presenting as well. Joshua Cayme, a B-SURE participant from University of Texas El Paso, reports,

“I am beyond grateful for the personalized mentoring I received from UTSA’s Dr. Sakiko Oyama thanks to the B-SURE program. My summer research experience confirmed my interest in biomechanics and provided me with a strong sense of belonging to the field.”

Destinee Webster, a B-SURE participant from Georgia State University, also had a great experience working with Karl Zelik and his team at Vanderbilt University.

“I was able to make great connections, develop professionally and individually, and was challenged in ways that have prepared me in my field for the future. I can’t thank ASB enough for believing in me and opening a door that will allow me to follow my passion.”

If you’d like to support B-SURE in the future as a corporate or institutional sponsor, or as a mentor, please email asbdiversity@asbweb.org to let us know.

The GRADE (GRAnts for Diversity and Equity) Program was developed to support biomechanics organization that target under-served groups but are not eligible for funding from other sources, with a goal of increasing total capacity to support biomechanists from under-served groups in a sustainable way. GRADE awarded grants to three organizations, Black Biomechanists Association, International Women in Biomechanics, and Latinx in Biomechanix. All three organizations are now or are well on their way to becoming independent 401(c)3 non-profits, they have held capacity-building workshops and put on great programming, and we look forward to their continued growth and success!

In July, ASB released a COVID-19 Impact Statement. Anyone in the biomechanics community can cite this statement to help explain the personal and professional impacts they have experienced to those outside the biomechanics community.

Ongoing activities including advancing equity and inclusion in biomechanics publishing and developing formalized policies to support ASB affinity groups. As always, stay connected to ASB and its many affinity groups and partners to hear about and participate in events throughout the year, and plan to join us for tutorials and other sessions at ASB 2023 focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging. If you’d like to volunteer to support this work as a member of the Diversity Committee or as the next Chair of the committee from 2023-2026, email asbdiversity@asbweb.org at any time.