Elevating a Rich Oncology Community: SITC’s DEI Strategic Plan

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan Goals

Membership Engagement

Recruit, retain and foster a diverse community of domestic and international members.


Breakdown barriers to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the broader cancer immunotherapy research community.


Increase diversity of the immuno-oncology workforce and educate the community on diversity, equity and inclusion issues.

Professional Development

Represent diverse backgrounds and experiences within all society funding, speaking, volunteer and training opportunities.

Patient Care & Clinical Trials

Understand and address the barriers and needs of SITC members in clinical practice, and advocate for equitable patient access, domestically and globally.

Roundtable on Diversity in Clinical Trial Enrollment

The DEI Task Force held a Corporate Member Roundtable on November 12, 2022 with key stakeholders including Industry (pharmaceutical and biotech companies), the FDA and SITC leadership. Organized by Leisha Emens, MD, PhD, Padmanee Sharma, MD, PhD, and John H. Stewart, IV, MD, MBA, FACS, the roundtable aimed to create a discussion with the FDA Guidance on diversity in clinical trial enrollment, elucidate questions and challenges key stakeholders have in implementing the guidance, and facilitate a conversation with these key stakeholders to provide clarity and direction. 

Read the Executive Summary

To build on the learnings from the November 2022 Roundtable, the Organizers will host a virtual Roundtable on Diversity in Clinical Trial Enrollment on July 25, 2023. The goal of the virtual Roundtable is to walk away with recommendations for specific actions each stakeholder in the clinical trial ecosystem can take to positively impact diversity in clinical trial enrollment. Representatives from each stakeholder group will participate in the roundtable, which will consist of a series of presentations and panels that highlight success stories and lessons learned in addressing implicit bias challenges, creating patient and community engagement and optimizing trial designs and operations that facilitate access to clinical trials for patients of diverse backgrounds. By enabling a conversation across stakeholders, SITC aims to carve a roadmap for next steps each stakeholder group can take to increase diversity in all immuno-oncology clinical trials.

Learn more and Register

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee


Adekunle Odunsi, MD, PhD
University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center


Charlie T. Garnett-Benson, PhD
Bristol Myers Squibb


Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD, MBA
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center


Ana Carrizosa Anderson, PhD
Harvard Medical School


Tullia C. Bruno, PhD
University of Pittsburgh


Leisha A. Emens, MD, PhD


Chelsea Pinnix, MD, PhD
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center


Avery D. Posey, Jr., PhD
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Diversity in Clinical Trials

One of the five goals outlined by the SITC Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Comittee’s 2022-2024 strategic plan focuses on patient care and clinical trials, specifically with regard to enhancing diversity in clinical trial enrollment. To accomplish this goal, the commitee aims to facilitate a conversation to frame the overall strategy and issues related to enrollment and diversity in clinical trials, and outline actions/next steps for how SITC may be able to aid the community.

SITC leadership has heard from Industry about the challenges and need for clarification surrounding the implementation of the FDA Guidance on diversity in clinical trial enrollment, entitled “Diversity Plans to Improve Enrollment of Participants From Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Populations in Clinical Trials; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability.”

DEI Strategic Plan Focus

Research & Patient Access

Clinical Trial Diversity and Equitable Patient Access

Landscape Analysis >

Collaborate >

Crisis in Clinical Research >

Workforce Pipeline: New Early Career Scientist Efforts

STEM Undergrad Program for URGs

  • 1-day, curated program at Annual Meeting
  • First program at SITC 2022
  • Watch Preview >

Travel Awards for Underrepresented Groups

  • For ECS
  • For all SITC programs

DEI Fellowships

  • DEI and Women Fellowships
  • Goal: Offer Annually

Educational Programs at HBCUs

  • Educational programs at historically black and Hispanic colleges and universities
  • Long Term Goal

Workforce Pipeline: Existing Early Career Scientist Efforts

Women in Immunotherapy Network (WIN) Leadership Institute


Hybrid and Virtual Programs Increase Access

Membership and Registration Discounts

  • LMICs
  • Financial Hardships

Workforce Pipeline: Leadership

Mentorship Program

  • Partner a senior leader with an early career person during the Annual Meeting to extend longitudinally

DEI Positioned Purposefully

  • Collecting race/ethnicity data
  • Website section to feature diverse membership
  • Global diversity
  • Landscape analyses

Diversity in SITC Faculty, Committees, Board

  • Ensure diverse slate of speakers, committee members, and election candidates

Listening Sessions & Diversity Panels

  • 2021: Asian and Pacific Islander
  • 2022: Black and African American

Clinical Trial Diversity and Equitable Patient Access

Landscape Analysis

  • Professional societies, government agencies, Industry; to ensure a lack of duplicity and find gaps in clinically oriented DEI programs
  • Long Term


  • With like-minded stakeholders in academic, NIH/NCI, FDA, pharma based on outputs related to patient care/clinical trials
  • Long Term

Crisis in Clinical Research

  • Partner/parallel work with outputs stemming from August 17 Summit

Watch Our Latest DEI Panels