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YCEI’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

The Yale Child Study Center (YCSC), where YCEI is housed, values each member of our community and is committed to fostering a more equitable, and inclusive culture, conducive to sustaining and attracting diversity in all its forms. YCSC offers workshops on cultural sensitivity, unconscious bias, and antiracism. In addition, YCEI has: rigorously evaluated our research methods, enhanced our recruitment strategy to build a more diverse faculty and staff, and focused continuous effort on ensuring all employees feel safe and welcome so we can support each other in our common humanity. Regarding RULER, we continue to scrutinize our approach to ensure it is equitable, inclusive, and culturally responsive, focusing on the need for solutions to challenges within unique school communities and classrooms.

DEI in the Research Process

We are committed to systematically evaluating the elements of our research process, developing best-practice recommendations, and creating a system of accountability at each phase of research.

Toward this end, we are:

  • Examining the questions we ask to consider how they contribute to or detract from equity in our society- for who, of who, how and why? What knowledge do these questions and subsequent results advantage? What constructs do we study, and whose perspectives do they prioritize or reinforce? What systems (e.g., individualistic vs. communal) do these questions and subsequent results prioritize?
  • Adopting a Center-wide language for how we measure and report on race, ethnic, and intersectional identities across our research studies. We formed a subcommittee of researchers representing all levels of training to interrogate interdisciplinary field norms and practices to ensure that all demographic and related questions use fully inclusive terminology, build a shared library of demographic questions ready for study use, and design accompanying decision trees centered on the participants to guide decisions for which items are to be included when. These steps will create consistency across our studies moving forward, support research autonomy and discretion on each individual project, and inform our department and field’s model of best practice when conducting emotion science and social and emotional learning research.
  • Interrogating our methodologies to ensure we use the best possible methods to capture a fully inclusive voice. For example, we use action research, person-centered analyses, qualitative and mixed-methods designs to support elevating and centering critical voices in our work which may not be fully reflected otherwise.
  • Creating a template to guide our language and a process-based checklist to hold ourselves accountable in our work and to ensure that we have fully met our DEI commitments in our work.


RULER is based on the premise that all emotions matter, and that individuals experience emotions uniquely based on their identities and backgrounds. At present, RULER has been adopted successfully by over 3,500 highly diverse public and private schools across the United States and in other countries, including Australia, China, England, Italy, Mexico, and Spain.

RULER tools focus on building positive emotional connections across differences, creating awareness around the range of our own emotions and the emotions of others, managing emotions with our best selves, building perspective-taking skills and empathy, reflecting on and resolving conflict, and restoring communities affected by conflict. In this way, RULER can be an onramp to work in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and antiracism, as it focuses on the development of the skills and language necessary to have conversations around these topics and achieve equitable practices.

Issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and bias are addressed within RULER in:

  • Personal and Professional Learning
  • Classroom Content
  • Family Engagement

Visit the RULER website for a complete overview of how DEI is addressed within RULER.

DEI and YCEI Hiring Practices

We are committed to examining our hiring and staffing procedures through a DEI lens to identify and eliminate existing structural inequalities.

Toward this end, we:

  • Review all job requirements at each level of training to ensure that required training and experiences do not privilege applicants on the basis of race, class, gender, sexuality, or disability.
  • Recruit talent to join our team through intentional communication with organizations, social media networks, and institutions committed to broadening access and participation of researchers of color and those from marginalized communities in academia.
  • Work with our department and university business offices to evaluate and change salary caps for training positions to enable broader participation among trainees from all socioeconomic backgrounds.