Dr. Danillo Augusto, PhD

Director Diversity Equity and Inclusion


See link for the 2021 CLAS Race and Social Justice Report

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee in the Department of Biological Sciences was formed in July 2020. One of our Department’s greatest strengths is the diversity of its scientists, staff, and students. We recognize that the diversity of our faculty and graduate students does not reflect the demographics of our undergraduate population and the nation. To support the goal of increased representation in STEM, we are committed to increasing the number of underrepresented minority faculty, students, and staff in our Department. We understand recruitment must go hand in hand with fostering an environment in which we are held to the highest standards and we all respect and enthusiastically welcome each other into our research laboratories and classrooms. We are well aware that the opportunities to achieve success in this country are not equally available to all. We are committed to making sure our policies and practices ensure equal access to all.


Membership in the DEI committee is open to all faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students in the Department of Biological Sciences. If you would like to join us, please feel free to reach out to any of our existing members to find out more or email biologydei@uncc.edu. Current members include faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students: Tonya Bates, Sharon Bullock, Tuan Cao, Samantha Furr-Rogers, Ebony Gaillard, Valery Grdzelishvili, Hyunjae Jeon, Remi Ketchum, Kiran Lalwani, Anne McMahon, Jessica Miller, Chiamaka Okonkwo, Adam Reitzel, Shankari Somayaji, Vanna Sombatsaphay, Bao-Hua Song, Danielle Torp, Jennifer Warner, Carrie Wells, Isha Wilson.


The objectives of the DEI committee are to coordinate and support initiatives that

  • Foster a learning environment where all undergraduate students are provided with the tools to thrive in class, including dedicated mentorship, access to professional development, internship, and research opportunities that will prepare them for successful careers in STEM.
  • Promote a culture of scientific inquiry and effective mentorship practices where all graduate students can thrive and develop the leadership skills they need.
  • Target the recruitment, retention, and success of faculty from diverse backgrounds in our Department.



  • Black Students in Science (BSS) Club (Email: iwilso12@charlotte.edu) (Instagram: @bss.uncc; Twitter: @bss_uncc)
  • Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (M.A.P.S.) (Instagram: @mapsuncc)
  • Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Charlotte Chapter (Email: sacnascharlotte@charlotte.edu)


If you have ideas for how we can better approach teaching and research with a diverse perspective, or if you have feedback on our initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, please email us.
You can also use this FORM to submit your anonymous feedback. We welcome your input.

As scholars, educators, and scientists, we strive to be logical, thoughtful, and unbiased in our thinking. We encourage the participation of everyone in the process of scientific inquiry and thought. Our humanity must embrace the beauty of our diversity.
Dr. Christine Richardson, Chair

Both the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the Department of Biological Sciences issued statements addressing racial disparities.

Suggested action items for the department to be inclusive.

Note from the Chair

The events that have unfolded in the last several months and years have left us heartbroken yet again. For the past ten days, hundreds of thousands of people across the US and the world have risen up to protest centuries of systemic racism and violence towards black people. Any human who sees the murder of George Floyd and so many others before him can only be sickened, saddened, and angered. Our hearts grieve with the victims’ families and friends. The longstanding institutionalized dehumanizing practices in this country against black people must stop. We must stand against these unacceptable actions and practices, and we must work together to abolish these unacceptable actions and practices.

Yet in this dark hour in the midst of a pandemic that has disproportionately impacted black and brown Americans, there is a ray of hope. These protests have evoked a response from those we put in power to act. All four police officers were charged – a small step in the direction of justice. We must realize the power of our democracy.

As scholars, educators, and scientists, we strive to be logical, thoughtful, and unbiased in our thinking. We encourage the participation of everyone in the process of scientific inquiry and thought. Our humanity must embrace the beauty of our diversity. As a department, we pledge to focus our efforts on our commitment to a community of peace, equality, respect, inclusion, and safety for everyone. We know that healing and improving our community will take sustained effort and concrete actions. We dedicate this 2020-2021 academic year to developing and presenting a clear and sustainable plan that supports this commitment. We welcome all comments, suggestions, and critiques from faculty, colleagues, staff, and students as we move forward.

Keep a watch out for future virtual town halls and workshops/training on UNC Charlotte’s website.

Dr. Pinku Mukherjee and Dr. Christine Richardson

Get Involved and be Informed

Training Opportunities

NEW!!!! ***

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC works to raise awareness about increased racism and discrimination against Asian Americans. You can see the schedule and register here. Throughout April and May, the are offering these free public trainings:

  • Bystander Intervention to Stop Anti-Asian/American Harassment and Xenophobia
  • Bystander Intervention 2.0 – Conflict De-Escalation Training
  • How to Respond to Harassment for People Experiencing Anti-Asian/American Harassment

Diversity and Resiliency Institute of El Paso Online Anti-Racism Training