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How It Feels To Be #BlackandSTEM And A Woman

Posted by Samantha Lewis on September 05, 2014 at 3:56 PM

The issue of diversity continues to be a topic of discussion in our education system; we seek to diversify our schools, and increase participation in STEM programs. On October 30, 2014, DNLee published this piece in the Scientific American considering the topic. 

I was sitting on this post for a while now. I said I would publish it this week, but I already felt procrastination kicking in. It was going to get pushed into next week or later. Then I got a tweet announcing today’s (October 30, 2014) #BlackandSTEM chat topic: Being #BLACKandSTEM and woman. So, here’s my related thoughts on this topic which includes a good helping of built up rage and rant.

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The Academia Ghetto is real

“What is the Minority Academia Ghetto, you ask? Why, it is the state of mind that awards, programmes, initiatives, etc are pointless unless a white dude can win it, serve on it, or vote in it.” ~ The Hermitage

For Black women who are pursuing post-graduate studies or embarking in academic careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), you are very likely stationed at a non-minority serving institution (MSI).

“I am constantly filled with irrational anger when I see a plenary talk schedules and the only brown face I see is in the ‘Diversity iz Awesome’ section and the only Vagina wins the ‘Ladies are Totes Scientists too’ award. I’m filled with frustration, because since they exist, people feel comfortable only including minorities when the fine print tells them to, but if they didn’t exist, we wouldn’t be included at all.” ~ The Hermitage, emphasis hers

Read the full story, here: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/urban-scientist/2014/10/30/how-it-feels-to-be-blackandstem-and-a-woman/