AUI Statement on Racial Equity

As the nation continues to mourn and respond to the unjust death of George Floyd, there is no doubt that violent race-related incidents and the subsequent protests and clashes are the most urgent need for us as a society to address. Further, to address them, we must acknowledge that these are just the latest incidents of the systemic, deeply-rooted problems related to race in this country. We must learn from them and seek real change, toward real progress on increasing diversity, equity and inclusion.

As many know, June 10 has been identified as a “strike” day for academic institutions. We acknowledge many of our employees may choose to join the Strike for Black Lives, and we support them in their decision.  We have cancelled all standing meetings for the day and have provided employees with options for reading and self-reflection.  We support these actions as we fully believe that all lives can only matter when Black Lives Matter too.

At AUI, given that we run national and international facilities, we have a particular interest and focus on ensuring equal access – especially by underserved and underrepresented communities — to the facilities, opportunities and careers in R&D. AUI deeply values and prioritizes diversity, equity and inclusion, and we understand the strength and value that they bring to R&D, and that they are integral to our mission and our operations. However, we must recognize and address the reality that while we strive for equal access, often access is experienced unequally across racial lines in our country. When left unaddressed or under-addressed, inequitable treatment of people has a destructive, toxic effect on our culture. Ending these inequities must be an integral part of our mission and our daily work. We have made good progress, but we have a long way to go. We must and will do better – always.

We are committed to providing a safe, non-discriminatory workplace for all our workforce, collaborators, users of our facilities, contractors, students and visitors. Our work conduct policies exemplify and reinforce our on-going commitment to maintaining an atmosphere where everyone is treated with respect. We are committed to our policies and improving them as needed to ensure that every one of us is heard and respected. We strive to proactively address inequity internally and to redouble our efforts with our partners and external stakeholders.

NSBP-AUI Partnership: Over the past decade, AUI has partnered with the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) on various STEM education projects and outreach initiatives. AUI and the observatories we manage have benefited significantly from this partnership, becoming more aware of issues facing persons of color in physics and astronomy and working together to implement solutions.  We remain committed to our enduring partnership and our shared set of values. While there are many ways to make a positive difference for a more inclusive world in our scientific communities, we encourage those seeking to make an impact to contribute to NSBP programs, or to another organization of your choice with the mission of enhancing diversity in the R&D and STEM fields. AUI is a proud supporter of the NSBP Scholarship for Minority Students Majoring in Physics, and we hope you will consider contributing as well. For more information, visit https://www.nsbp.org/ and click on the Donate tab.

In Other News…

NSF and SpaceX Finalize Radio Spectrum Coordination Agreement

This news article was originally published on NRAO.edu on January 10, 2023.Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF, Jeff HellermanThe National Science Foundation (NSF) and SpaceX have finalized a radio spectrum coordination agreement to limit interference from the company’s Starlink...

ALMA and JWST Reveal Galactic Shock is Shaping Stephan’s Quintet in Mysterious Ways

This news article was originally published on NRAO.edu on January 9, 2023.Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/JWST/ P. Appleton (Caltech), B.Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)Shockwaves resulting from the violent collision between an intruder galaxy and Stephan’s Quintet are helping...

ALMA Scientists Find Pair of Black Holes Dining Together in Nearby Galaxy Merger

This news article was originally published on NRAO.edu on January 9, 2023.Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), M. Weiss (NRAO/AUI/NSF)While studying a nearby pair of merging galaxies using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)— an international observatory...

Hydrogen Masers Reveal New Secrets of a Massive Star to ALMA Scientists

This news article was originally published on NRAO.edu on January 9, 2023.Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), M. Weiss (NRAO/AUI/NSF)Scientists used the unique hydrogen radio recombination lines on MWC 349A to reveal hidden collimated jets While using the Atacama Large...

Northwest Indian College Hosts Inaugural Cosmovisions of the Pacific Meeting

Bellingham, Washington – Over 14,000 years ago, Indigenous groups in the Pacific traveled by boat, guided by starlight, and likely settled the West Coast of the Americas. Today, Indigenous and non-indigenous people gathered at Northwest Indian College (NWIC) to...

AUI Board of Trustees Elects Christine Wilson as Board Chair and William Harris as Vice Chair

AUI Board of Trustees Elects Christine Wilson as Board Chair and William Harris as Vice Chair Washington, D.C.— The AUI Board of Trustees met at AUI’s Dunn Loring office in Vienna, VA September 22 and 23. Following President Adam Cohen’s overview of AUI, and reports...

Heising—Simons Foundation Partners with AUI and the IAU to Boost Gender Equity Programs for Young Astronomers

The Heising–Simons Foundation (HSF) has awarded $126,500 to Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to support two programs: the Women and Girls in Astronomy project and the IAU Junior Member Travel Grant Fund. Women and...

New NSF Funded Project Will Study How Podcasts Can Support Inclusive STEM Learning

[Washington, D.C.] Tumble Media, in partnership with Associated Universities Inc (AUI), Oregon State University (OSU) and Independence Science, has been awarded a $1 million grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division Of Research On Learning. The team will...

AUI and NRAO Announce 2022 NAC Bridge Scholarship Recipients

This news article was originally published on NRAO.edu on July 5, 2022.AUI and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) have announced the recipients of the 2022 AUI Board of Trustees NAC Bridge Scholarship Award. Now in its second year, the scholarship...

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