Commit to being an ally
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.