I am deeply honored to be the recipient of the 2022 ASCB Public Service Award. In addition to my research on the cytoskeleton and molecular motors, I devoted a significant part of my professional career to issues pertaining to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Diversity of the scientific workforce is essential to accomplish the mission of discovery and innovation required to advance scientific knowledge and improve human health, especially the health of Black communities. This pressing need requires new approaches to address the problem of inclusivity in science. The Black Lives Matter movement and the murder of George Floyd were events that triggered people around the world to begin to reckon with structural racism and new approaches to dismantle it. It is through this momentary lens that I founded the PAIR-UP Imaging Science Program for Black Imaging Scientists. The purpose of PAIR-UP is to improve the professional work environment for Black imaging scientists at R1 institutions by building a self-reinforcing community of Black scientists across institutions committed to helping each other sustain a strong cultural identity. Reenforcing and sustaining a strong cultural identity has the potential to be transformational for the scientists participating in PAIR-UP.
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