Commit to being an ally

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Around the world, people are being physically or verbally attacked because of their ethnic, racial, religious, sexual orientation and/or for other discriminatory and/or exclusionary reasons.

AGU remains as dedicated as ever to curate and share resources for fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive scientific community. Our Earth and space sciences community has trusted AGU to help address the issues of bias, harassment and discrimination over the last few years.

We are proud of the work that we have done through our Ethics and Equity Center, but we also know that there is so much more to do. AGU remains committed to helping to build the equitable future we all envision and value.

When (at the time) AGU President Robin Bell and President-elect Susan Lozier released the 8 action steps we’d take to combat systemic racism, they noted that “bold and meaningful actions are needed.” We have been and will continue to take these steps as an organization.

We also ask every single AGU member and anyone who reads our communications to serve as an ally.

Allyship is a word that people use a lot, but some of you may wonder what does it mean? What are the actions that one person can take? How much change or difference can one person make?

To answer the last question first: a lot. It takes one person to stand up for another who may not feel comfortable – for any reason – to speak up when you see something inappropriate or questionable occur.

A few weeks ago, we held an implicit bias training workshop for our board, council and leadership volunteers. We hired actors who demonstrated situations that happen every day around the world. Many of those on the call said that this could have been a live recording of a meeting at their organization. With the implicit bias training, many said they feel more empowered to speak up and serve as an ally. We are looking at how to make this training available to our community, but we know AGU Fall Meeting 2021 will be one place where you’ll have the opportunity to learn.

In the meantime, we encourage you to the review and use materials in the Education, Tools and Surveys on AGU Ethics & Equity website. There, you’ll find information that will help you become an ally from experts from around the world.

Being an ally is not about stating or doing everything perfectly: it’s about taking a step forward when you can see something that dismisses or diminishes someone (or people).

  • You can also say something to the person that you think may have been offended to ask if they would be okay with you making a comment.
  • You can also choose to pull the individual who made the comment aside to let them know that the comment or action was offensive.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to host some podcasts with our AGU senior team to discuss what we are doing and how we are enacting the 8 action steps. We’ll post them here on From the Prow for you to listen to when they are ready.

In the meantime, we encourage you to tell our community that you are an ally by posting a comment to this blog post so people know who you are and where you work. If you want to share why you are signing up to be an ally or any additional details in your comments, please feel free.

We know that putting your name to serve as an ally may seem like a small action, but sharing your name could help someone who felt voiceless or powerless to seek you out for support.

When you share your stories and your truths, you are serving as an ally.

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  1. Lisa Beal

    I am an ally. And I am excited to be a part of change @theAGU as the new Editor in Chief at JGR-Oceans! Together with the JGR-Oceans board of editors, we are educating ourselves about ways to combat systemic racism and implicit bias, we are increasing diversity through recruitment of new Editors, and we are working towards reducing bias in the review process.

  2. Tanya Peevey

    I am an ally and will strive to do my best to stand up for or with someone (or people) who is being faced with discrimination or bias due to their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or other qualities that are not merit/skill based.

    • Basu Dev

      That’s great Tanya , I was faced discrimination due to my quality . I want to encourage those peoples who are facing bias due to qualities .

  3. Megan Brown

    I am an ally. I am committed to always use my privilege to help make my research lab, classroom, department, university, and the geosciences in general an inclusive and welcoming place.

  4. Peter Griffith

    I am committed to providing safe, welcoming, and productive environments in the field and the lab, and at meetings and conferences, and have adopted the American Geophysical Union Scientific Code of Conduct for my meetings and projects. If you have any concerns or need an ally please contact me!

  5. David Wilkins

    I am an ally, and where I am aware will work to support and stand up for those who are in a position of vulnerability no matter what the reason. I will promote the strength and importance in having and hearing and accepting diverse points of views in a civil and respectful manner. I will strive to not cover up or minimize the past – in our discipline and in our content – in opening up my students to understand the root causes of social inequities we as a society all face.

  6. Simon de Szoeke

    I am an ally at Oregon State University. I strive to listen and speak equitably. I strive to recognize and change policies that racialize and marginalize (especially nonwhite, nonmale) persons.

  7. Emily First

    I am an ally. An imperfect one who doesn’t always get it right, but who will keep striving to make everyone I interact with feel seen, safe, and respected. You are all welcome here!

  8. Patricia Thibodeau

    I am an ally at the University of Rhode Island. I am working to amplify diverse voices as well as continue to educate myself regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion to create a better work place on campus and be a culturally responsive mentor.

  9. Cathy Manduca

    I am an ally. I do my best to support and stand up for all people who are vulnerable, who are attacked, or who are not being heard. I also do my best to make sure that all are welcome and comfortable in the spaces I inhabit, create, or manage and to increase the diversity of perspectives in those spaces. I am committed to learning to do this better through training, education and listening.

  10. Basu Dev

    I am an ally. I do my best for the students and beginners those who are from the country like just started journey in space physics research.

  11. Jonathon Goldman

    I’m an ally. (No I’m not April Foolsing!). I am fully personally and professionally committed to continuing to recognize my privileges, and to facilitating diversity, equity and inclusion to better leverage humanity’s efforts for the survival of our species. All of us are the products of natural selection and evolution — diversity in our genetic, cultural and other attributes makes us all stronger and more resilient.

  12. Rob Casey

    I am an ally. As a hiring manager at IRIS, I strive to better inclusiveness and diversity in our workspace and our outreach through every day decisions and actions. IRIS is also taking a stand to promote Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion within itself and in the geosciences through a set of initiatives to improve policies and actions to help the underrepresented become prominent members and recognized contributors in research. I am happy to see that AGU takes this stand as well.

  13. Christine Huffard

    I strive to help make marine science a more inclusive field, in which everyone feels safe and heard as their true self, with everyone’s perspectives listened to and valued. While I hope that my actions and support of others help others see me as a strong ally, this status is not up for me to declare, but rather something I continually work to earn.

  14. Dr. Dave White

    I am an ally. One of the best ways we can continue to share key information to our leaders is by providing insights to our carbon emission issues and how to remedy without major effects to our economy and environment. A balanced approach as outlined below is a proven way to decrease atmospheric CO2 levels.
    Please go to Also your state Governor.
    Put in your information then copy and paste the below. Please do this multiple times a day.
    The Green New deal and Paris Climate accord are the wrong solution. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports are inaccurate and are falsely skewing Data. Publishing garbage manuscripts in a journal whose chief editor that has a degree in Political Science. Is not science.
    11th Climate Change Conference

    These are well documented facts about Climate Change
    -Atmospheric CO2 is not an emissions issue; it’s a loss of photosynthesis issue due to deforestation.
    -IPCC GWP model is false Methane is less of a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
    -Global sea rise is 1.1 mm/yr and linear not accelerating!
    -On Netflix please watch “kiss the ground” movie! These scientists show correctly if we stop breathing it wont lower atmospheric carbon dioxide.

  15. Susanne U. Janecke

    I am an ally. We need more allies to plug up that so called leaky pipeline. The leaky pipeline is actually a systemic expulsion machine for everyone except cis white men . Sometimes the machine is set to exclusion mode.

  16. Stephen Daly

    I am an ally at University College Dublin, Ireland. I experienced racial abuse as a young PhD student. That was many years ago but the experience made me aware of what many students and colleagues have to face. It also taught me that some forms of bias are not recognised as such by the perpetrators.

  17. Cat Beck

    I am an ally at Hamilton College where my colleagues and I are working to integrate content focused on systemic racism and diversity, equity, and inclusion into our geoscience curriculum.

  18. Mike Loranty

    I am an ally at Colgate University. My colleagues and I are working to create welcoming, safe, and inclusive environments in the classroom, lab, and field.

  19. Annie Kersting

    I am an ally. I work at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. I strive to listen, speak out when I see injustice, and work towards making positive change. I welcome AGU’s efforts in this area.

  20. Dr. rer. nat. Axel Eisch

    Ich bin ein Verbündeter, da mich schon der Gedanke schmerzt, darüber nachzudenken, warum wir nicht alle gleich sein sollten.

  21. Eric Grosfils

    I am an ally. Working with my STEM colleagues from multiple disciplines here at Pomona College, I am striving to become better aware of DEI effects in our classroom and professional settings and to find effective ways to reduce negative impacts, both obvious and less so.

  22. Steve Semken

    I am at Arizona State University and I will always strive to be the best ally I can . My experiences among my very diverse family and close friends have taught me a great deal about this, and there is always more that can be learned and that can be done. If I can be of help, please reach out.

    • Theodore S. Dibble

      Phoebe, thank you for making these points, and for the link!
      I am making some effort to be an ally, but I won’t announce myself as one. I have a lot to learn, and even more patterns of thought to unlearn, before I would think of myself as an ally.

    • Kasey Aderhold

      ^ Agree with Phoebe. I strive to educate myself, take actions to make our community a safe and welcoming space, and support anti-racism efforts especially those led by Black, Brown, Indigenous, and people of color.

  23. Steven Semken

    I am at Arizona State University and I will always strive to be the most effective ally I can be. My experiences with my diverse family, friends, and colleagues have taught me much about this, and there is always more that can be learned and that can be done to help people. If I can be of service to you, please reach out to me.

  24. Robert Newman

    I strive to be an ally @ University of North Dakota and in all my professional affiliations, centering diversity, inclusion, and justice, mindful of inequity and injustice. We cannot solve any problem without solving it for everybody.

  25. Carolyn Boulton

    I am an ally. I am committed to creating safe, inclusive, diverse, and equitable environments where students and researchers can thrive.

  26. Uzoma Chukwuka

    I am an ally, and support a world where inclusivity is a norm and mutual respect is maintained, all form of discrimination should be put an an end.

  27. Umberto Fracassi

    Allyship, with its inclusive orthography and rounded sound, seems like a necessary destiny for humankind. I cannot see another option other than being a tiny, yet pulsing particle of such an allyship, in the most open and constructive form that can be attained. Little steps can walk great lengths, sometimes. Therefore, yes, I am an ally here at Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, in Rome (Italy).

  28. Ana Dyreson

    I strive to be an ally in my workplace at Michigan Technological University in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

  29. Scott Perl, Ph.D.

    I am an ally and would be committed to listening and understanding issues that would arise and being active in helping individuals that need it. I’m a geobiologist and astrobiologist at NASA-JPL.

  30. Rebecca Neumann

    I am an ally @ University of Washington. I am committed to addressing the inequitable, unjust discrimination faced by so many scientists– discrimination which reduces the effectiveness and impact of all research.

  31. Andrew Western

    I am at the University of Melbourne and am currently Head of Infrastructure Engineering. Achieving Great diversity and inclusion outcomes is one of my key aims and I strive to be an an ally in this cause.

  32. Paul

    I am an ally science textbook editor from the Philippines who will push for addressing racism at its socio-economic roots in the global monopoly capitalist system itself, a system which historically benefited from the African Slave Trade and the imperial subjugation of various peoples.

  33. Tom Shea

    I am an ally. I vow to stand up against injustice at and outside the workplace, and use any professional leverage I have to make academia and science a happier, more nurturing place.

  34. Pamela C. Burnley

    I am an ally. Physically, I am located at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Geoscience. Intellectually, I am located in the worlds of mineral physics, mineralogy and rock deformation. 40 years ago I was told that I had the wrong ‘personality’ to become a geologist. Others told me I had no business trying to do the things I was doing. Fortunately, I didn’t listen. I was very lucky to find some allies who helped me along the way. I am always eager to help others establish their career paths in the sciences and am committed to looking for ways to identify and remove barriers that prevent people from feeling welcome and included in the earth sciences.

  35. Will Robertson

    I am an ally. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are extremely important in any scientific field in order to ensure that good, real, unbiased science is being done.

  36. Samuel Levis

    I am an ally. Thank you for this opportunity to state that publicly.

    (Self employed at SLevis Consulting LLC, with projects that are in collaboration for the most part with the National Center for Atmospheric Research.)

  37. Bob VanGundy

    I’m a semi-retired geology instructor, and have worked in industry. Aside from the moral reasons we should treat everyone fairly, we should not be content with a society that restricts someone’s chances of reaching their potential. In a competitive world, we cannot afford to toss aside the abilities of large parts of the population. Everyone deserves a fair chance at a good life.

  38. Kirsten Nicolaysen

    With my colleagues at Whitman College, I strive to provide access to research experiences in a safe and supportive environment. I work to strengthen networks that connect BIPOC and LGBTQ+ students to post-graduate careers and graduate school opportunities. I seek to expand my awareness and to choose listening more often than speaking.

  39. Steven Hata

    I’m an ally… every scientific organization that i have come across, including this one, and the professional society that I belong to, the American Academy of Neurology has come out in support of these goals… I t would also help that there be a “super” society of all scientific organizations that support our goals to band together to help undo the tremendous damage the the previous administration did by not only neglect science, but actively denigrating it….much less playing the misogynist and racists cards in order to do anything to acquire and retain power- undemocratically. …that will take time and much patience to gently push back against The push back has to be done not with logic and facts, which just shut made up even minds tighter, but using the input of the social scientists, who have been able to come up with techniques that work… these have been circulated widely and have been publish in Scientific American…. thank you, Steve Hata MD

  40. Allison Chartrand

    I am an ally as a graduate student at The Ohio State University. I work hard to educate myself on the causes of inequity and the recommended practices for fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive scientific community.

  41. Beatriz Cosenza

    I am an ally (Soy una aliada) at Escuela de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala.

  42. Mark Chopping

    I am an ally. I strive to ensure access to doctoral education in our PhD program to all applicants equitably; and to promote a safe and supportive environment once students are admitted.

  43. Tom Parsons

    I am an ally. As an AGU journal editor I will work to achieve a better balance in terms of reviewer positions and will look carefully for implicit bias in review discourse.

  44. Kimberly Hill

    I am an ally in EPSP at AGU and other scientific communities, in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering and at St. Anthony Falls laboratory at the University of Minnesota, and in the community where I live.

  45. Joanna Waniek

    I am an ally. I have been Equal Opportunity Officer for eight years and package leader in a Horizon 2020 project aiming to improve the situation of female scientist in oceanography. I this project we e.g. looked at the number of female chief scientists at cruises over a time span of allmost 10 years in different countries (all Europe). Less than 10 procent of cruises had female leaders, and their was a really striking correlation between the length of the cruises and female scientist as well, clearly showing females are bearly assigned those positions and even less with long lasting cruises on big research vessels. The implications are going far beyond, this actually means as well they get less funding, are less seen in the media and recognised by the public, just to list few. As a sea going person, I’m committed to have equal number or male/female participants on the cruise, from different countries/cultures. Same applies to my research group on land. However I’m fully aware that STEM reaserch is still dominated by male and white people.

  46. Stephen Jascourt

    I am an ally. Most of what I have seen close up has been from stories and documentation from people I know in STEM outside of AGU-topic fields, in both academia and government. It includes discrimination and exploitation based on visa status and national origin, not only the more commonly thought about categories. And it includes discrimination by minorities who were in a position of power – remember, anyone in a position of power can wield that power in discriminatory and retaliatory ways. The company I work for as an atmospheric scientist has recently been building up a serious effort on diversity and inclusion led by the senior management. I have heard some of the company’s focus is on casting a wider recruiting network to catch more minorities as well-qualified job candidates, with hopeful impact in fields where the traditional recruitment channels do not have that reach. If successful, such efforts would simultaneously diversify and strengthen the company.

  47. Jonathan Krall

    In a WISE (women in science and engineering) meeting where I work, we discussed allyship. Responding in the moment is difficult, because we don not always have time to think before we act. However, we can be allies in ways that do allow us to think before we act. We can make apologies, when needed. We can advocate for transparency in our organizations, so we can measure disparities. We can advocate for active measures to reduce disparities. We can mentor, formally or informally, people of a different background than our own.

    As an ally, I am committed to spending time each week on this work.

  48. Tanya Furman

    I’m an ally, and strive for greater equity in my research, my teaching and mentorship, and my leadership of the Education Section.

  49. Ron Resmini

    I am an ally at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, and at L3Harris Technologies, Inc., Herndon, VA. Please reach out.

  50. Lena Heffern

    I am an ally. I will strive to do my best to help my colleagues and community work towards a better future in the pursuit of equality and progress. I am a PhD candidate at Arizona State University in the School of Earth and Space Exploration. I am a physics adjunct at GCU and an engineering adjunct at SCC. All Phoenix-area schools.

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