About Pacific Science Center

Anti-Racism and IDEA Commitment

Pacific Science Center stands with those who are courageously fighting against hate, racism, and injustice. We recognize that not being racist is not sufficient. We must be actively anti-racist, and we commit to doing so. We prioritize inclusion, diversity, equity, and access in everything we do. Curiosity and critical thinking are essential to the dialogue and changes that need to happen.

In June 2019, the organization and Board of Directors formally adopted a commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) to reflect work already underway:

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Statement

Science is for everyone. We believe that curiosity and critical thinking are essential to equity and justice for all. We embrace science as a process of inquiry, discovery, and problem solving that helps us better understand our universe and each other. Science has the power to connect people and to develop solutions for the common good.

We commit to our guests, community, and colleagues that we will:

  • Use curiosity, critical thinking, and innovation to identify, understand, and reduce inequities and barriers to participation in science.
  • Ensure that our facilities, programs, experiences, and the benefits they provide are accessible to people of all backgrounds, and financial, social, physical, and intellectual abilities.
  • Be a community laboratory and living room that is inclusive and welcoming to everyone.
  • Include diverse experiences and perspectives in our work, particularly the voices of people who have previously been excluded.
  • Honor and better reflect the diverse community we serve.
  • Learn from our past, tackle current issues, and create an equitable future.

We prioritize inclusion, diversity, equity and access in order to strengthen our organization and our community. We encourage all members of our community to come together, to celebrate science and each other, and to be curious.

Our Progress

Highlights of our journey during the last year include, but are not limited to:

  • In June 2020, we initiated a series of Conversations on Racial Equity (CORE) for all PacSci colleagues and interested former colleagues. These discussions now take place monthly with reflections on current events, ideas for how PacSci can implement lasting equitable changes, and regular participation from community leaders who share their perspectives and advice on anti-racism. In parallel, focus groups are working on specific initiatives related to programming, policies and procedures, colleague interactions, guest offerings, and guest interactions.
  • In December 2020, we joined Washington Employers for Racial Equity, a coalition of employers across Washington State committed to driving racial equity in the workplace, in communities, and through public policy.
  • We expanded our network of diverse partners to collaborate on programming and better reach the entire community. Partners include Northwest African American Museum (NAAM), Technology Access Foundation (TAF), and iUrban Teen.
  • We created accessible programming that reduces barriers to science including Virtual Field Trips and scholarships for summer camps. During the 2020 – 2021 school year, we provided more than 650 Virtual Field Trips to more than 28,000 students, more than half of whom attend Title I schools in low-income communities where we provide this programming completely free. We will provide a free week of science camp to more than 175 kids during the summer of 2021.
  • We launched a supplier diversity program with Tabor 100, an organization focusing on the economic empowerment of the Black community and social equity broadly. This partnership helps us build working relationships with Black- and African-American owned businesses.
  • We implemented new practices for recruiting, hiring, and compensation that seek to eliminate bias and to ensure we are providing equal opportunities for diverse talent at all levels of the organization. We began proactively working with local organizations such as Seattle MESA to develop career growth opportunities for populations that have historically been underrepresented in science.

The highlights above build on our previous and ongoing work including:

  • We introduced the Access to Science Pipeline in 2016, an integrated set of programs that reduce barriers to science for systemically under-represented and under-served children and families. These programs have grown substantially. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, 4,300 families receiving public assistance, experiencing homelessness, or in foster care were benefitting from free or deeply-discounted Family and Youth Access memberships. Our Science on Wheels outreach program was on track to serve 115,000 students statewide during the 2019-20 school year, including 59,000 in low-income Title I schools. 113 high school students were participating in our high school development programs; 65% of them identify as female and more than 75% of them identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
  • An internal IDEA Committee formed in 2018, a group of colleagues from all parts of the organization who meet to examine policies and explore new ways to increase inclusion, diversity, equity, and access both in our workplace and society. The IDEA Committee increased the quality of our internal dialogue and training. The Committee also did the foundational work to create the IDEA Statement that the Board of Directors adopted in June 2019.
  • We are recognizing, celebrating, and amplifying the work of scientists and innovators who are BIPOC in our Science in the City lectures, in special exhibits, and in permanent markers across the Science Center campus and on our website.

What’s Next?

We are still at the beginning of this essential work. Recognizing our role in serving the community, we will actively partner with others to amplify BIPOC voices, accomplishments, and leadership. This extends to everything we do, from our exhibits and educational programming to our laser shows and more. We will better reflect the communities that we aim to serve by recruiting and retaining diverse people throughout the entire organization and in leadership roles, including the Board of Directors. We are proud that a Black woman has served as Board Chair since July 2017 and will be succeeded by a Black man in July 2021.

We are asking ourselves and the community:

  • How can curiosity and critical thinking be used to advance justice for all?
  • How can STEM be more inclusive and help to uproot institutional or structural racism?

Please share your thoughts and suggestions with us as we continue this journey. Please send to feedback@pacsci.org.

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