Marginalized communities need programs customized for them. Programs must allow anyone interested in STEM to thrive regardless of their circumstances. Astronomy is accessible to all, in every culture, fascinating to everyone, and touches on almost every STEM field. Astronomy is a universal gateway to STEM.
Astronomy for Equity programs are based on simple principles:
Share expertise and resources to extend successful programs. Get more return from the investment already made. Don’t reinvent the wheel; distribute the wheels you have, and teach others to make them.
Engage with the larger worldwide astronomy and science communities for broad and diverse support. Astronomy enthusiasts everywhere are ready to share their passion.
Bring diverse expertise and resources together to create new outcomes. No silos. Don’t just think outside the box; bring different boxes together to make new things. Innovation happens at the boundaries.
Categories of Program Focus
Enhancing Existing Programs: Increasing Support and Scalability
Astronomy for Equity helps local and regional programs increase support, expand their reach, and share their solutions with others. Sustainability is a constant struggle and potential remains largely untapped. The worldwide astronomy community supports programs in need, and Astronomy for Equity is the hub that brings them together. An international NGO can also bestow credibility on local efforts, increase awareness through media, and lead to government and commercial support.
Building New Programs: Creating Programs from Existing Resources
Resources are often plentiful but poorly distributed, not reaching those most in need across academic, geographic, disciplinary, and other boundaries. Astronomy for Equity is the hub where collaboration between disciplines and organizations can create sustainable and scalable programs without the limitations of boundaries. Experts serve as mentors online for passionate outreach volunteers, resources are adapted and distributed, and support is provided. These programs empower activists who provide local educational opportunities with support from the global community. This leverages the greatest resources of all – the passion and drive of local activists – by expediting and empowering them. Local, grassroots action through coordinated global community.
Unity: One Planet, One Sky
Support begins with understanding that we are all fellow travelers on a planet traveling through space, what Buckminster Fuller called Spaceship Earth. When we meet others, we see the commonality of our goals, needs, and struggles. Astronauts see Earth as a planet among the stars, returning to Earth with a new perspective that Frank White has called The Overview Effect. Few of us will have that opportunity but other experiences can provide a global perspective. Astronomy for Equity conducts programs across boundaries that foster that perspective, creating connection, understanding, and sympathy. The need to support others and eliminate inequity follows naturally.