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Diversity, Equity, Belonging and Respect (DEBR) Subcommittee for the GCTLC

What is DEBR?

DEBR stands for diversity, equity, belonging, and respect:


  • Diversity: acknowledges that every individual in our community is unique, and that we choose to honor, welcome, and embrace the different experiences and identities each person holds.
  • Equity: acknowledges the reality of systemic discrimination: that certain communities are more oppressed than others, and therefore “equal” treatment will not ensure systemic barriers are erased for every community fairly.
  • Belonging: refers to the feeling of being unconditionally accepted and part of a community. We want to prioritize a genuine sense of belonging for our community members. 
  • Respect signifies our commitment to The Platinum Rule: that every individual deserves to be treated how they want to be treated.


On the GCTLC platform, this will only be possible when there is a sense of acceptance that is fostered through mutual respect and understanding amongst users and community members of the platform, and when there are spaces on the platform for users from all different backgrounds to interact, network, collaborate and share resources in the absence of direct or systemic barriers and where users are free to express and embody their personal identities safely without fear of judgment or persecution.


Charge of the Subcommittee

The core mission of the DEBR Subcommittee is to propose, recommend, and evaluate ways to create and sustain a sense of belonging on the GCTLC platform. Developing and sustaining such an open and supportive online community will be an ongoing and constant iterative process of revision, adaptation and change.


Roles and Responsibilities of the Subcommittee

History of the Subcommittee

The DEBR Subcommittee comprises members from the full GCTLC Leadership Committee across the educational and professional spectrum. During the development of the GCTLC platform, we met regularly to fulfill our charge (see above) and provide advice and guidance to the GCTLC project team. 


From the genesis of the platform, DEBR Subcommittee members genuinely believed in creating a true sense of belonging for the platform. In our first meeting, we prioritized getting to know each other and sharing life experiences that inspired members to serve. This meeting helped create an authentic sense of belonging within our Subcommittee and a strong desire to continue in this important work and expand it to the full green chemistry community.


Our first set of actions included establishing what this sense of belonging could look like for users of the GCTLC. We agreed that this means users are:


  • Representatives for the community as a whole, both on the platform and off the platform, and are expected to treat it and everyone with respect;
  • Valued and respected for who they are, and feel welcome to share their ideas from their own unique perspectives and experiences;
  • Supported in their goals and ideas;
  • Comfortable challenging systemic issues and biases;
  • Able to easily find mentors and role models; and
  • Appreciative of and value the differences between people.


Our additional responsibilities during the development of the GCTLC platform included:


  • Providing recommendations and guidance during the design phase of the platform to ensure the website would be accessible and welcoming to all users
  • Reviewing documentation from the other Leadership Subcommittees that outlined processes on the platform
  • Sitting on other Leadership Subcommittees to ensure DEBR was integrated into all Subcommittee activities
  • Drafting and finalizing the Code of Conduct for the GCTLC platform


Current Roles and Responsibilities of the Subcommittee

DEBR Subcommittee members continue their charge as part of the full Advisory Board for the GCTLC platform. Members will always be present to provide advice, guidance, and recommendations to the GCTLC project team as the platform continues to evolve throughout the years to come.


Some of our current responsibilities include:

  • Reviewing rejected Learning Object submissions to ensure equitable peer review
  • Working with the Chief Moderator and Chief Editor to understand the GCTLC user community’s needs and address them
  • Acting in an advisory capacity to the Conduct Administrator on issues of unacceptable conduct on the GCTLC platform, and reviewing appeals from users as part of the reporting process
  • Providing a critical perspective and review of any new functionalities added to the platform

Current Subcommittee Members

Nimrat Obhi

Program Manager, GCTLC


Laura Barnes

Sustainability Information Curator


Glenn Hurst

Professor of Green Chemistry Education


David Laviska

Portfolio Manager for Education ACSGCI


Andrea Oseolorun

Assistant Professor


Sarah Prescott

Chief Editor and Moderator/Associate Professor


Ettigounder Ponnusamy