Strategy 5

Identify and facilitate connections with equity-focused STEM institutions and departments in higher education.

Assess the landscape of equity-focused institutions in your region.

Try to determine if and where institutions with a commitment to equity and anti-racist STEM environments exist within your region. The use of equity-focused practices and policies can vary widely between communities, colleges, and universities, and the STEM PUSH team is in the process of identifying institutional criteria to look for.

Host conversations in your ecosystem as a way to source leads.

As you continue to meet with your PCSPs and greater ecosystem, use STEM PUSH as a catalyst for conversations about anti-racist practices. As part of these conversations, ask for other referrals to institutions, departments, or programs focusing on anti-racist STEM work. Capture insights from these conversations and share them with the STEM PUSH team as appropriate.

The California STEM Network is currently encouraging and facilitating conversations with their PCSPs about Critical Race Theory and the work of Richard Delgado.

Reach out to new equity-focused initiatives.

Newly established programs provide a prime opportunity for ground-level partnership in equity work. Check for updates from local institutions and review national education publications often for program announcements. Set up a related Google Alert to receive a roundup of updates via email.

In conversations with new programs, your goal should be to bridge their work to STEM PUSH strategies and network membership, in order to unearth common goals and activate synergies. How could they (and their parent institution or department) implement or replicate STEM PUSH insights – like change ideas, equity best practices, or forthcoming program accreditation.

The NYC STEM Education Network is seeking out conversations with the Mount Sinai Center for Excellence in Youth Education, which is developing an anti-racist mentor training program, and the AEMES Programs at Smith College, which focuses on anti-racism in STEM.
Who is leading the national conversation on diversity, equity, and anti-racism? These organizations may be able to refer you to equity-focused higher ed institutions and departments in your area. To guide your thinking, consider long-established organizations that have a mission explicitly dedicated racial equity and justice and a clear strategic plan or organizational framework articulating their vision for racial equity.  You can contact national organizations directly to request an information sharing meeting. Or, consider any regional organizations who may have ties to these national organizations. They could provide introductions to national colleagues or direct referrals to higher ed institutions. Additionally, you can consult other INCLUDES Alliances funded by the National Science Foundation (like ASPIRE) or IMPACT for other potential institutions.