9 June 2020

AAS Endorses #ShutDownSTEM, #ShutDownAcademia & #Strike4BlackLives

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) endorses the grassroots efforts to #ShutDownSTEM, #ShutDownAcademia, and #Strike4BlackLives on Wednesday, 10 June. The AAS Board of Trustees encourages everyone in our community to make a lifelong commitment to action to eradicate anti-Black racism in the astronomical sciences, in other STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, and in academia and research more generally.

Black Lives Matter

Internally at the AAS Executive Office, regularly scheduled Wednesday meetings have been cancelled and staff have been given the option of using the day to find time and space for individual reflection, learning, and action. We have postponed a professional development webinar that was originally scheduled for 10 June and will not be using email, Zoom, or any of our other communication channels for normal Society business that day.

Our communications team has created a new webpage to share discipline-wide resources on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The AAS Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) has published its own resource page, “Actionable Steps to Make Our Community More Equitable.” Most of the resources on these pages are relevant to all of us, so we encourage you to check them for ideas, some of which you can use on Wednesday.

Black Lives Matter

As our community transitions to the difficult longer-term work of acting to make our profession truly diverse, inclusive, and equitable, the AAS requests your help. The Board of Trustees welcomes your suggestions for short- and long-term actions that we could take as a professional society and/or as an employer. Please use our webform to share your ideas with us. If you’d like to contribute suggestions in a more private/confidential manner, please contact any of our Board members or email the AAS Executive Office.

We look forward to effecting positive change that promotes our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our work and lives as members of the AAS, of the wider astronomical community, and of society at large. Join us on Wednesday, 10 June, to #ShutDownSTEM, #ShutDownAcademia, and #Strike4BlackLives!

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