Diana Carolina Vergara

The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee is pleased to announce the selection of two winners of the JEDI Logo Competition: Brianna Mims (UM EEB MS 2020) and Diana Carolina Vergara, graduate students in ecology and evolutionary biology.

“We are excited to share their two wonderful designs with the department,” the committee wrote in an email.   

While both were EEB graduate students at the time of the competition, Mims graduated with her master’s degree in fall 2020 (with Professor Alison Davis Rabosky) and is currently a doctoral student at the Richard Gilder Graduate School of the American Museum of Natural History. Vergara is a doctoral student with advisor, Professor Tom Duda.  

Regarding the decision to create and submit her logo design, Vergara said, “as part of an underrepresented and marginalized community (Latin women) in STEM, I am interested in diversity and inclusion topics. I always try to promote the participation and empowerment of Latin women in science, because I know how difficult it is to be and persist as a scientist coming from these countries.

“My design takes after the origins of black revindication movements from the 60s,” she said. Vergara incorporated the LGBTQ+ flag “trying to include as much human diversity as possible (all the races in the hand, and the gender identities with the flag).”

She created her logo design using the Adobe program, Illustrator. She added that while the name JEDI understandably reminds her of the Star Wars movies, she wasn’t able to figure out how to include something Star Wars related in the logo.

Brianna Mims. Image credit: Juanita Sanchez

As for Mims’ design, she said “I wanted to include elements that incorporated the diversity of research interests in EEB and the diversity of researchers in EEB and bring that all together. In the logo, I tried to include phylogenetic-style branches, plants (flowers and leaves), water waves, and a microbe to capture systematics, phylogenetics, plant biology, marine science and microbiology (which are just some of the many interests we have in UMICH EEB alone!). I also included the JEDI letters and portraits in honeycomb shapes to show the interconnectedness between us as EEB scientists and the goals of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. Just like bees in a hive, we should all be doing our part to work towards these goals.”

What inspired Mims to create and submit her logo was that she had been trying to teach herself digital art mediums, and when she saw there was an opportunity to submit entries for a new JEDI logo, she decided to give it a try (especially since she was graduating soon). “To me, it was a perfect opportunity to practice and highlight how I envision JEDI in EEB,” she said. Mims created the logo using an app called SketchBook.

“We were really excited to be able to support this kind of work and we hope you'll join us in recognizing the artistic talent of Diana and Brianna!” the committee added in an email announcement.

The logos have been incorporated into the website for the 2022 Early Career Scientists Symposium on Racial Justice in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Research. Also, stickers of the logos will be made available in the near future.