SPARK’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement
Date Published: June 3, 2022
At SPARK, we believe diversity drives new perspectives and inspires future generations.
SPARK recognizes that we cannot successfully advance discovery and the understanding of autism if we do not include all families. Therefore, we launched a diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative that will cut across all areas of the SPARK study.
We established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Board in 2021 to engage in important conversations and develop meaningful relationships with subject matter experts, stakeholders, and organizations that serve the African American and Black communities. We are prioritizing this effort and our activities to ensure we remain culturally and ethnically relevant within the African American and Black communities. SPARK is advancing research, the understanding of autism, and the diversity of experiences and genomic data amongst autistic individuals and their families.
We have identified three areas in which we can empower diverse communities, their experiences, perspectives, and cultures. We can act with purpose and intention to allow all individuals to be represented in our study and meaningfully contribute to the understanding of autism.
- Support the work of diverse researchers. Encourage and create opportunities for SPARK clinical site staff to reflect the community and develop culturally and ethnically relevant engagement.
- Create a transparent and trusted research environment and experience for autistic individuals and their families.
- Amplify the stories of diverse individuals on the spectrum and their families.
The more inclusive we are as a study, the better understanding we will gain, which will accelerate our understanding of autism.