Mission Statement

SURF Lab Diversity and Inclusion Mission Statement

In the SURF Lab, we recognize that diversity is broad and encompasses a range of intersecting individual and cultural characteristics, including, but not limited to, sex assigned at birth, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, military veteran status, ability status, religious affiliation, and socioeconomic status. We take an integrative approach to understand how intersecting forms of identity, and systemic and structural oppression, impact an individual’s lived experiences.

The SURF Lab is taking actionable steps toward an open understanding of diverse perspectives in several areas:


  • We conduct collaborative research that is meant to support and empower communities who have faced, and are currently facing, marginalization, oppression and discrimination.
  • We are actively working toward disseminating our research findings back to the communities it impacts in ways that are accessible and helpful (e.g., through community-based talks; fact sheets).
  • We are committed to supporting the scholarship of BIPOC, queer, and trans researchers, such as through integrating their work in our research products (e.g., manuscripts).
  • Our research is driven by a desire to reduce health disparities related to intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and substance misuse. As such, we promote clinically relevant research that can begin to address health disparities in marginalized groups.
  • We strive to include community members in our research process, such as through, but not limited to, study and hypothesis generation, feedback on, and creation of, study documents, and inclusion on manuscripts.

Lab Environment/Lab Relationships

  • We recognize that in faculty-student relationships there are inherent power dynamics that can silence the voices of students and create an environment where students feel unsafe sharing their thoughts and opinions. Dr. Shorey is committed to creating an open environment in which students feel safe and comfortable bringing important concerns and perspectives to him.
  • We strive to treat all students and staff in the laboratory, including our community partners, as equals (regardless of position or time in the lab), where all opinions and beliefs are valued.
  • We are committed to being a lab that is welcoming, affirming, and supportive of people’s unique identities and experiences, with paramount importance given to the health and well-being of lab members. This means:
    • Having open conversations about people’s unique identities and experiences, including microaggressions and negative experiences that happen within and outside UWM
    • Working to provide necessary accommodations (e.g., time off for religious observances; support and resources for parenting students; assistance and advocacy for students who are seeking accommodations in courses and within the lab)
    • Affirming people’s gender identity and understanding that it may change and evolve over time
    • Learning from each other
    • Welcoming students (undergraduate and graduate) and staff with these experiences


  • We are committed to holding each other (i.e., all laboratory members) accountable for continuing our education, self-growth, and activism in the areas of social justice. This includes, but is not limited to, anti-racism training, protesting, and volunteer work.
  • We devote time to holding each other accountable by discussing what each lab member has done related to their education and self-growth in the areas of diversity and inclusion.
  • We focus on helping each other unlearn our implicit and explicit biases through open and supportive discussions.
  • When a member of the lab does not reflect the values of the lab in the areas of diversity and inclusion, we strive to bring this to the lab member’s attention. We expect mistakes to be made and are committed to remaining open to learning from these mistakes. We are also committed to repairing harm caused from these mistakes.

Finally, we recognize that education and self-growth in the areas of diversity and inclusion is an ongoing, life-long process. As such, we are committed to ongoing self-reflection, accountability, and education to best support our values identified above.