About Us

Astronomy for Equity uses the proven ability of astronomy to promote, support, and create STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education programs. Programs are designed to assist and encourage people in marginalized, isolated, and underserved communities who lack representation and opportunities in STEM fields. Students in these communities are often discouraged by the lack of opportunities and role models in science. A self-perpetuating cycle results – the lack of opportunity in these fields results in less STEM in marginalized communities, and less opportunity for STEM careers over the years.

But astronomy programs touch on all STEM fields and can be created in all communities. Unfortunately, many programs are ad hoc and temporary, fail to reach a large audience, and lack follow-up to build on initial investments. Astronomy for Equity supports the sustainability and expansion of existing programs and we create new programs from existing resources. Then we distribute these resources (including volunteer expertise) to the robust worldwide astronomy community.

Our Vision

Because marginalization resulting from poverty, social biases, disabilities, and other factors impede progress in education and community growth, marginalized groups need programs designed for them to ensure equal opportunities for success. Programs must be accessible, sustainable, and scalable to attract students, qualified STEM teachers, and community support. We work to erase self-fulfilling prophetic bias in communities where educators, counselors, and family members steer students into traditional non-STEM fields of study and away from fields where they are underrepresented (such as STEM).

At Astronomy for Equity, we work to break this self-perpetuating negative feedback cycle. We promote programs that expose students, teachers, and the public to new STEM fields, presenting the fields in a positive light, and demonstrating the practicability of seeking STEM careers.

Our Team

Mike Simmons is wearing a green polo shirt and smiling in in this head and shoulders photo. There is plant and tree foliage in the background.

Mike Simmons

Founder, CEO

Jeff Bennett

Astronomer, Author

Astronomy for Equity. Former NASA Astronaut Nicole Stott is smiling and wearing a blue jumpsuit that has many patches on it including the American flag and NASA patches. She is standing in front of a blue-green background.

Nicole Stott

NASA Astronaut, Artist

Astronomy for Equity. Frank White is smiling for this headshot portrait of him against a dark background. Frank is wearing a light blue collar shirt.

Frank White

Space Author

Nancy Atkinson

Science Author

In this upper body photo, Sina Bahram looks attractive with a charming smile and a welcoming demeanor. He is wearing a light blue collar shirt and a dark blazer. He has dark hair, a beard, and one eye that closes more than the other. He is outdoors against a blurred background of people, cars, and trees.

Sina Bahram

Prime Access CEO

William Bloomfield

Nonprofit Expert

Luci Prosapio

Sempre Events CEO

David Levy

Astronomer, Author

Susan Murbana

Traveling Telescope (Kenya)

Daniel "Chu" Owen

Traveling Telescope (Kenya)

Scott Roberts

Explore Scientific CEO

A headshot of Atiyah Alhasadi in a light blue dress shirt with a blue and grey necktie. Atiyah has light skin, dark eyes, dark hair, and dark facial hair.

Atiyah Alhasadi

Roaya (Libya)

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