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People of Color in STEM

Racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in the United States. This library guide seeks to center the voices and lived experiences of people of color (POC) in STEM.

Welcome

Thank you for taking an interest in this library guide. Please note this is not yet a comprehensive list of materials and resources--rather, a starting point. We expect this guide to change and grow over time. We welcome your feedback, critiques, and contributions. We seek not to control this library guide, but to let it be flexible and responsive to needs and wishes of those involved in the construction of an empowering diverse STEM space.

 

If you would like to help with the project or provide additional resources please see the contact information below. When providing scholarship information please supply a description to accompany the link. 

 

Contact
Patricia Zarate '14
patricia.j.zarate@gmail.com
 
Thank you to Meg Spencer, Pam Harris, and everyone else involved in the Library Intern Program for making this project possible.

The Purpose

We dream of socially- and environmentally-conscious STEM that seeks to be representative, equitable, accessible, transparent and accountable. This library guide strives to move us closer to those goals by honoring the past and present diversity of STEM and providing resources to help connect folks to communities that center and celebrate their racial/ethnic identity(s).

General US National STEM Organizations

Women in STEM Organizations

Queer and Trans STEM Organizations

Journals and Magazines

Blogs

Video

From California Academy of Sciences Library "African American Scientists Bibliography"

  • Breakthrough: The Changing Face of Science in America. Boston, MA: PBS Video, 1996.
  • From Dreams to Reality: A Tribute to Minority Inventors. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 1986.

Contributing Bibliographies, Resource Lists, and Survey Collections

The Project

Racial and ethnic minorities are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in the United States. This library guide seeks to center the voices and lived experiences of people of color (POC) in STEM. Specifically, we are featuring historical, biographical, and autobiographical texts; community-building media; and scientific society resources. In addition, we also highlight critical literature on the factors that contribute to demographic disparities in STEM.

The Focus: People of Color

We recognize there are many ways an individual may describe self in addition to race and ethnicity, including gender identity, ability, sexual orientation, socio-economic class, religion, nationality, citizenship status, (first) generation, etc., and not all identities are equalled represented in within STEM. While we aspire to feature all marginalized identity groups through our work, we are primarily collecting resources within the US context and intentionally focusing on POC.  

We recognize that identities are multifaceted and that the term people of color (POC) cannot fully describe any one individual’s complex identity and experience. We also recognize the broad nature of the term and it’s potential pitfalls. While some folks might understand the term to be one that builds solidarity between racial and ethnic minority groups, we want to be mindful that not all racial and ethnic minorities identify as POC. We also understand the term POC can lead to generalizations that may reproduce oppressions such as misrepresentation, erasure, and co-optation of experience. For instance, the level of representation, education, and compensation in STEM is not the same across racial and ethnic groups. According to the United States Department of Commerce, 7 out of 10 STEM positions in the US are held by white, non-Latin@s. Black, Native American, and Latin@ (any race) workers are half as likely to hold STEM positions compared to the overall workforce, while Asian workers are nearly three times as likely [1].  We use the term POC with the intention of building solidarity, but welcome critique of the language used in this library guide, as well as its structure.

We also want to recognize that disparities in representation, educational attainment, and compensation vary between STEM disciplines and across intersectional identity-markers, such as gender. On average, women earn 14% less than men across STEM fields and hold less than a quarter of STEM positions even though they comprise roughly half of the total US workforce [2]. We thus seek to center materials and resources that include marginalized groups such as women, people with disabilities, queer/trans folks, first generation college-attending, Autistic folks, and other identities from neurodiverse communities.

 

General Critical STEM/Academy Literature

General STEM Visual Media