Racial Equity

Berkeley Lab senior leadership released Labwide statements on June 1, 2020 and June 10, 2020 about the tragic and horrifying killing of George Floyd and the suffering in our communities–-both locally and nationwide. More recently, our Laboratory Director, Mike Witherell, released a statement on March 17, 2021 condemning anti-Asian discrimination and violence. Berkeley Lab unequivocally rejects and condemns any and all forms of racism and racial injustice. We stand firm in our commitment to creating a laboratory environment where all of our colleagues feel welcomed, respected, and valued.

As a Lab community, we aim to identify changes and take action to advance racial equity within our own institution, including removing barriers to fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement. We commit to adhering to the Lab's policies for non-discrimination, non-harassment, and non-retaliation, including equitable and consistent application of these policies across our organization.

Advancing racial equity also means learning and awareness: Lab colleagues are encouraged to deepen their self-reflection and educate themselves on the experiences of others; learn about biases and microaggressions; and understand concepts related to privilege and racism. We encourage our colleagues to identify ways in which their teams can help advance this vision, to join and support our Employee Resource Groups, and work toward developing and achieving actionable goals and meaningful change.

Equity Reset

“Equity Reset” is an ongoing & evolving approach to racial equity learning, development, & action. It is a way to operationalize Berkeley Lab’s organizational value of stewardship, and embody the behaviors and practices essential to sustaining a diverse, inclusive, equitable work culture. An Equity Reset calls for the interruption of business-as-usual and the recurring allocation of time and attention–two of our most precious resources– towards anti-racism work.

There are two levels of learning that will need to happen concurrently as part of Equity Reset:

Each employee is invited to work through the Equity Reset curriculum solo or in a self-organized peer learning circle.

On the First Friday of every month, the Lab's IDEA Office & Learning & Organizational Development (L&OD) Office will hold structured, facilitated Equity Reset orientations & forums for employees across the Lab to exchange learnings & to workshop and assess progress on their anti-racism commitments. Learn more about our First Friday Community Forums.



The subject of race can be very touchy. As finance executive Mellody Hobson says, it’s a “conversational third rail.” But, she says, that’s exactly why we need to start talking about it. In this engaging, persuasive talk, Hobson makes the case that speaking openly about race — and particularly about diversity in hiring — makes for better businesses and a better society.

Produced by UC Berkeley, RACE—The Power of an Illusion was first broadcast and released back in 2003. The three-part documentary series asks a question so basic it’s rarely raised: What is this thing called ‘race’? What we discovered was that many of our conventional assumptions about race—for instance, that the world's peoples can be divided biologically along racial lines—are wrong. Yet the costs of racism are very real, and can even have biological consequences.

Supervisor Toolkit

The purpose of this toolkit is to guide all people leaders (supervisors, managers, and directors) as you exercise leadership and respond to the needs of your teams during our current and ongoing crises. We need all of the Lab’s leaders to join us in reaching out and listening to your team members and to each other. Together, with your help, we can understand, address, and rectify situations of racial discrimination, prejudice, and inequities within our Lab community.

Discussion Guides

Being color brave means having candid conversations about race that can help us better understand each other’s perspectives and experiences so that we can make better decisions and secure better prospects for future generations. This discussion guide can be used in large and small group meetings and events to generate dialogue and self-awareness on ways to become more color brave. (Click here to view embedded video in the guide.)

Dr. Steve Robbins, a leading expert on diversity and inclusion (D&I), came to Berkeley Lab in 2017 to kick off a yearlong discussion about inclusion. His presentation drew on the areas of cognitive neuroscience, communication, and social psychology to help us better understand how implicit biases—underlying biases of which we may not be aware—affect decisions and behaviors in hiring, promoting, and providing career development. He also shared his insights on insider/outsider culture, and how D&I efforts can be categorized as “social safety work.” His visit was part of Berkeley Lab’s D&I strategy to enhance leadership and staff awareness, and to foster a more respectful and inclusive workplace.

UC and Additional Resources

Related Topics

Throughout the IDEAs In Action website you'll find resources such as LinkedIn Learning courses, toolkits, discussion guides, articles, podcasts and One-Minute-for-IDEAs slides on topics related to increasing your self-awareness and being an ally. Topics include: