Day: June 10, 2020

Further reading on #ShutdownSTEM Day

Below are some additional resources to learn more about promoting diversity in STEM fields. I highly recommend starting with the resources provided by ShutdownSTEM, which are tracked based on your interests:

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In addition, take a look at the following:

The Role of Professional Societies in STEM Diversity
The overall percentages of African American scientists indicate underrepresentation in most
science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and the percentages appear to be declining over the last three decades [NSF, 2017]. Despite investments in diversity programs, the observable impact on STEM leadership and the demographics of the science and technology workforce remains quite small. This presentation will highlight some of the challenges and barriers that many students and professionals who seek to pursue careers in these fields face, and the role of professional societies in either exacerbating the perpetuation of monocultures in the various STEM disciplines or proactively working to eliminate barriers and discrimination. We will present and provide clarity on three common myths that are often articulated in discussions of STEM diversity. We will share insights on how professional societies can directly impact the broadening of participation as well as the persistence of racial
groups in the STEM fields and hence, strengthen and sustain the Nation’s future workforce.

People of Color in STEM LibGuide
Developed by TriCollege Libraries, this guide links to resources about people of color in STEM fields.

Diversity in STEM: Bibliography
The 2018 Knauss Diversity Committee seeks to identify opportunities to increase the diversity (i.e., representation across the spectrum) of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic class, disability, religion, citizenship status, age, and country of origin, within the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program. A broader goal of the Committee is to make recommendations to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across all NOAA gateway opportunities. This bibliography is intended to supplement the Committee’s recommendation memo to the NOAA National Sea Grant College Program, and initiate dialogues on ways to facilitate the inclusion and integration of minorities in marine policy and STEM. It is an overview of preliminary resources and may be expanded or supplemented with further appendices.

Publications from National Academy Press

11 Professional Organizations That Support People of Color in STEM

Read the full story at Ripplematch.

Science, technology, engineering, and math fields are crucial to keeping our world functioning. They’re the basis for developing life-saving drugs and treatments, developing the software programs we depend on every day, solving environmental problems, and much more. However, there’s a large gap between the number of STEM jobs needing to be filled and people available to do them. The United States Department of Labor predicted that nearing 2020, 2.4 million STEM jobs would go unfulfilled, and the demand for qualified candidates to fill these roles is only going to grow. Despite the demand, people of color are vastly underrepresented in these fields. According to data on race and ethnic representation in STEM occupations from Pew Research Center, only 9 percent of STEM workers are Black and 7 percent are Hispanic. Other national data shows that in 2010, American Indians/Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders each made up only 0.2 percent of the STEM workforce.

To help close the racial/ethnic gap in STEM, a number of professional organizations exist to support people of color in STEM fields through networking, career development, scholarships, and more. With the high demand for STEM talent, employers should utilize every resource available to find promising candidates, including professional organizations. We’ve rounded up 11 professional organizations for people of color in STEM that should be on the radar of every employer working to create a diverse pipeline of talent – read on for the full list.

How to Actually Promote Diversity in STEM

Read the full story in The Atlantic.

The future depends on a robust scientific workforce, but millions of minority students are massively underrepresented in these fields.

Black Birders Week: An Ode to Our Allies

Read the full story at Louisiana Audubon.

Today is June 4, 2020. A lot has happened recently, including police brutality against Black people, its attempted use as a weapon against Christian Cooper, a long-time Central Park fixture who is a Black birder, protests around the world, the establishment of #BlackBirdersWeek, everyone from celebrities to activists to laypeople publicly speaking out against racism, and a host of other things, all in the midst of the continued coronavirus pandemic. I keep getting asked — and I keep asking myself — do I know any other Black birders? I know tons of allies and supporters, but I know very few birders who are Black. I don’t even know many Black nature-lovers, campers, or hikers. I can only share what it’s like to be a Black birder. One in the deep south, no less. Keep in mind, what follows is an N-of-1. An atypical N-of-1, some would argue. There are 10 million ways to react to what has happened recently, but it is my opinion that sharing is one key way to heal from hurt, injustice, and bigotry.

‘Black Women Who Bird’ Take the Spotlight to Make Their Presence Known

Read the full story at Audubon.

As part of Black Birders Week, women are sharing their love of the outdoors and the challenges they face in them.

A Conversation with Derrick Jackson for #BlackBirdersWeek

Read the full story at Audubon.

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Derrick Jackson, who is one of the pillars of Audubon’s Seabird Institute (formerly known as Project Puffin). As an instructor at Hog Island Audubon Camp’s Arts & Birding week, Derrick teaches photography, and has documented the Seabird Institute’s work with birds like Atlantic Puffins and Roseate Terns on a number of seabird islands.

Together with former Seabird Institute director Steve Kress, Derrick is the co-author of Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock, a former columnist at the Boston Globe, and currently a Fellow at the Union of Concerned Scientists writing on energy, environmental justice and current governmental attacks on science.

In our conversation, Derrick talked not only about his passion for seabirds, but also the challenges he faces as a Black birder, including the micro-aggressions that he’s experienced in the birding community.

Being seen and heard during Black Birders Week

Read the full story at Alive.

Local birder and educator Nicole Jackson on the inherent perils of navigating outdoor spaces while black.

‘I can’t even enjoy this.’ #BlackBirdersWeek organizer shares her struggles as a black scientist

Read the full story in Science.

This week, black scientists and recreational birders flocked to Twitter for #BlackBirdersWeek. “Nature is my favorite place to be, & I’ve been fortunate enough [to] use my PhD to travel & be #BlackInNature across the world,” tweeted a graduate student.

The first-of-its-kind event was organized in response to an incident that transpired in New York’s Central Park last week. Christian Cooper—a black man who works as a writer and editor and is an avid birdwatcher—encountered a white woman who was walking her dog while he was birding. When he asked her to leash her dog, she called the police, telling them that an African American man was threatening her. A video of the encounter went viral—unleashing a torrent of discussion about racism and the dangers black people face when they are simply enjoying, or working in, outdoor spaces.

For black scientists in field disciplines such as ecology and geology, Cooper’s experience was a familiar one. Many are sent to remote places to conduct fieldwork—and that can land them in uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous, situations, says Corina Newsome, a master’s student at Georgia Southern University who studies seaside sparrows in coastal marshes. “I’m in these remote, expansive natural areas, and in the South no less, and so my family is … always scared for my safety.”

She and others organized #BlackBirdersWeek to highlight the stories of black people in the outdoors. Many of the posts have featured scientists who study the natural world, serving as inspiration for the next generation of outdoor researchers. “I’m excited to go to grad school but also nervous,” a soon-to-be grad student wrote on Twitter earlier today. “The lack of diversity in STEM has led me to question my capabilities and my place in biology. #BlackBirdersWeek has truly reinvigorated and reassured me that I’m not alone. I can do this, & I BELONG HERE.”

Science Careers spoke with Newsome to ask her about #BlackBirdersWeek, and to find out about the challenges that she’s experienced as a black scientist who works outdoors. The interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

African-American Men: The Other STEM Minority

Read the full story at U.S. News and World Report.

African-American men are one of the only minority groups not making progress in STEM.

repost: Why combining diversity with STEM is a good thing for kids

Read the full story in National Geographic.

Wildlife biologist and mom Rae Wynn-Grant talks about the importance of diversity in STEM—and how parents can embrace it for their children.

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