Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What are Microaggressions?

Reposed with permission from the Women in Astronomy Blog

This past June I attended the Inclusive Astronomy conference in Nashville and there was an incredible talk by Kenjus Watson about microaggressions. This term gets brought up frequently in feminist and equity conversations, but a lot of people I've talked to don't really understand what it means, or how microaggressions manifest in everyday life. In fact, I was guilty of one of the microaggressions that Mr. Watson highlighted, when I recently asked a trans* woman what the trans* community thought about Caitlin Jenner's transition.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

We Stand With Ahmed

We strongly condemn the racist actions of MacArthur High School and the Irving, Texas Police Department on Monday September 14, in arresting Ahmed Mohamed for suspicion of making a “hoax bomb”.  Rather than being praised for his initiative, inventiveness, and technical skill in making an electronic clock from scratch, Ahmed was subject to unsubstantiated suspicion, overt racism, and the indignity of public arrest. Such actions serve to perpetuate and enforce the barriers faced by students of color who yearn to be scientists and engineers, and stands in opposition to our nation’s principles of equity and innovation. We are honored to support Ahmed and his fellow future scientists of color, and encourage our community to demand MacArthur High School administrators and Irving officials make a commitment to rooting out the systemic racism and discrimination in their organizations.

As per AAS policy, this is not a CSWA committee-endorsed statement and does not necessarily reflect the views of the AAS, its Council or its officers. 

Social Justice Vocabulary Words

The purpose of this blog is to educate the scientific community about race, racism and the issues faced by people of color in STEM generally, and astronomy more specifically. We recognize that our culture and society do not equip people with the vocabulary and historical knowledge to engage in conversations about race and racism in a cogent or constructive manner (e.g. Bonilla-Silva 2010). Because of this it is important to lay out some commonly-used vocabulary words that will appear in future posts. Because we subscribe to an intersectional approach to our antiracism work, we provide vocabulary pertaining to social justice issues beyond race. 

This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather a springboard for future discussions and posts. If you encounter words and terms that are unfamiliar, we encourage you to do a quick Google search.