A task force organized by the American Institute of Physics, a not-for-profit organization made up of other American physics societies, has released the results of a study into why African American students are persistently underrepresented in receiving undergraduate degrees in physics and astronomy. Culminate in a list of recommendations for individual faculty, departments, or professional societies.
Abstract: In this article I take on the question of how the exclusion of Black American women from physics impacts physics epistemologies, and I highlight the dynamic relationship between this exclusion and the struggle for women to reconcile “Black woman” with “physicist.” I describe the phenomenon where white epistemic claims about science—which are not rooted in empirical evidence—receive more credence and attention than Black women’s epistemic claims about their own lives. To develop this idea, I apply an intersectional analysis to Joseph Martin’s concept of prestige asymmetry in physics, developing the concept of white empiricism to discuss the impact that Black women’s exclusion has had on physics epistemology. By considering the essentialization of racism and sexism alongside the social construction of ascribed identities, I assess the way Black women physicists self-construct as scientists and the subsequent impact of epistemic outcomes on the science itself.
Institutional change requires the support of the STEM workforce. This paper summarize important issues that influence recruitment and retention and offer strategies that can improve recruitment and retention of faculty of color.
This article explores the struggles of women of color that threaten their persistence in STEM education and how those struggles lead them to search out or create counterspaces. It also examines the ways that counterspaces operate for women of color in STEM higher education, particularly ho w they function as ha vens from isolation and microaggressions.
Abstract: This paper draws on survey data from nationally representative student cohorts and longitudinal interview data collected over 4 years from 10 Black African/Caribbean students and their parents, who were tracked from age 10–14 (Y6–Y9), as part of a larger study on children's science and career aspirations. The paper concludes with implications for science education policy and practice.
Abstract: This paper examines the narratives of 11 Black women in Computer Science (CS) to explore and understand their intersectional experiences (academic, professional, familial, etc.) in the field of Computing. Overall, our analysis revealed that the women in our study experienced discrimination, expectations from others that are too high or too low, isolation, sexism, and racism; yet they still choose to stay in the discipline. Remaining true to their personal and professional goals, having effective mentors, and inspiration from their fathers all contributed to their successful pathways and strategies of resistance.
Abstract: Informed by the theoretical lens of opportunity hoarding, this study considers whether STEM postsecondary fields stand apart via the disproportionate exclusion of Black and Latina/o youth. Utilizing national data from the Beginning Postsecondary Study (BPS), the authors investigate whether Black and Latina/o youth who begin college as STEM majors are more likely to depart than their White peers, either by switching fields or by leaving college without a degree, and whether patterns of departure in STEM fields differ from those in non-STEM fields. Results reveal evidence of persistent racial/ethnic inequality in STEM degree attainment not found in other fields.
Abstract: We examine the experiences of 3 high-achieving Black undergraduate and graduate women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Our findings reveal that structural racism, sexism, and race-gender bias were salient in the women's STEM settings. These experiences were sources of strain, which the women dealt with in ways that demonstrate both resilience and trauma. We discuss how their experiences might motivate institutions to offer support for high-achieving students who sometimes face risks from multiple sources.