Despite decades of effort to create a more welcoming environment, women and people of color remain dramatically underrepresented in physics and astronomy, and minoritized groups continue to report hostile climates. This unwelcoming environment manifests, for example, in the use of textbooks focused on the achievements of white men, widespread accounts of microaggressions, and the conflation of privilege with aptitude. So what, then, can we do about this? In this presentation, I will outline some strategies being used by small liberal arts college physics programs and STEM faculty members-- including at Amherst --to develop more equitable pedagogies and to build actively anti-racist and inclusive STEM departments. We will end with a collective discussion of how some of these strategies are already being used or could be implemented in an Amherst-College-specific context.
Martha S. Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University. She is a legal and cultural historian whose work examines how Black Americans have shaped the story of American democracy. Most recently, Professor Jones is the author of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All (2020) and Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (2018), which earned many awards.
Professor Jones will discuss the history of African-American women who defied both racism and sexism to fight for the ballot, and how they wielded political power to secure the equality and dignity of all persons. This event is part of the Provost’s Lecture Series, which will focus on “The History of Anti-Black Racism in America” for the 2020-2021 academic year. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and the public are all welcome.