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Announcing the RDAP DEIA Task Force

October 13, 2020 10:32 AM | Jennifer Darragh (Administrator)

In order to maintain momentum with the RDAP Association’s desire to be an open, inclusive and accessible organization for all (Strategic Goal 3) as well as an advocate for anti-racism and anti-discrimination, the Executive Board and Leadership Team are asking for a small team of dedicated members to help guide our work in this area. As such we are forming a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism (DEIA) Task Force.

The Charge:

The Research Data Access & Preservation (RDAP) Association is committed to advocating for and actively supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism within our organization and within the fields of data management and curation. As such, the organization is creating a task force that will work closely with the seven RDAP Action Committees and the Executive Board to identify where and how DEIA touches our work and broader society, how to improve, how to measure our successes, and how to address and learn from our failures. The task force will have one year to develop a cohesive plan and identify measurable (SMART) goals for the association. During the planning year, regular progress reports will be provided to the RDAP membership via RDAP Happenings newsletter (and other channels as needed).

Get Involved:

If you are interested in volunteering for this task force, please see the announcement in the upcoming RDAP Happenings Newsletter. Volunteers are asked to provide statement of interest (up to 2500 character/500 words) as to why they would like to be a part of this effort. If interested in leading this task force, please indicate that as part of your submission. A subset of the Executive Board and Leadership Team (Action Committee Chairs) will review these statements and invite six RDAP members to serve on the task force and identify one of the six as the chair. The chair of the group will be invited to attend the monthly RDAP Leadership Team meetings to update RDAP Leadership on progress and to ask for input as desired. 

The Process:

Because we recognize that this is important work, we anticipate that there may be a lot of interest from the RDAP community about getting involved, as such, the call for volunteers will be handled as follows:

  1. The RDAP President will provide a form for interested RDAP members to provide up to a 2500 character (~500 words) statement of interest for joining this DEIA Task force effort (linked in upcoming October RDAP Happenings). Your name and email address will be collected on this form so that you may be notified if selected. An additional field on the form will allow volunteers to indicate if they would be willing to chair the group. The volunteer form will be open for two weeks. 

  2. The RDAP President will remove names from the submitted forms and provide the selection team with only the statements of interest and whether the volunteer is interested in chairing the group. As a result, the RDAP President will not be part of the selection team. 

  3. Volunteers will be selected based on the strength of their statement. We realize this review cannot be fully objective due to the importance and sensitivity of the topic. Statements should include more than “personal stakes” - for example, what you would like to change, where you see major pain points, and/or how you are qualified to do this work. Statements are considered confidential.

  4. The selection team will have two weeks to provide recommendations to fill the six member taskforce, including the chair, to the RDAP President.

  5. The RDAP President will contact the volunteers to determine that they are still willing and able to serve on the taskforce , and that a chair from among that group is in place.

  6. The RDAP President will announce the new Task Force to the RDAP Membership.


The RDAP community brings together a variety of individuals, including data managers and curators, librarians, archivists, researchers, educators, students, technologists, and data scientists from academic institutions, data centers, funding agencies, and industry who represent a wide range of STEM disciplines, social sciences, and humanities.



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