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Black Lives Matter
by PacSci staff | June 12, 2020
We are anti-racist. We have created space for our colleagues and community to participate in today’s statewide day of action in support of Black Lives Matter.
Pacific Science Center stands with those who are courageously fighting against hate, racism, and injustice. Silence is not an option. The brutal killing of George Floyd was only one example of the horrible racism that takes place in our country every day, as are the attacks against members of the Asian and Asian-American communities during the COVID-19 crisis. We share in the outpouring of grief and anger here in Seattle and communities across the country. We also 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 for all. Curiosity and critical thinking are essential to the dialogue and changes that need to happen.
In June 2019, the organization and Board of Directors made a commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA):
Highlights of our journey include, but are not limited to:
- We introduced the Access to Science Pipeline in 2016, an integrated set of programs that reduce barriers to science for traditionally 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 participate in our high school development programs; 65% of them identify as female and more than 75% of them identify as people of color. 135 youth from low-income families will receive a free week of science camp this summer.
- An internal IDEA Committee formed in 2018. This is a group of colleagues throughout the organization including Senior Leadership who meet to examine policies and explore new ways to combat racism both in our workplace and society. This has increased the quality of our internal dialogue and led to IDEA training sessions, including for Senior Leadership.
- We are restructuring our hiring processes. We are proactively working with local organizations to develop career growth opportunities for populations that have historically been underrepresented in science to curate career growth opportunities within those populations, such as Seattle Mesa.
- We are recognizing, celebrating, and amplifying the work of scientists and innovators who are People of Color in our Science in the City lectures, in special exhibits, and in permanent markers across the science center campus and on our website.
- Our Board of Directors has continued its legacy of diversity. 45% of currently active Board members are persons of color. We are proud that our current Board Chair is a Black woman.
We have a lot of work to do. Recognizing our role in serving the community, we will actively partner with others to amplify Black 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 People of Color throughout the entire organization and in leadership roles. We are still at the beginning of this essential work.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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