Anti-Racism Pro-Astronomy 6 month Challenge

Astronomy has a racism problem.

In fact, our society has a racism problem. We are living out patterns of systemic racism that is so deeply established that those of us that benefit from it completely fail to observe it unless we make an effort to do so.

This is one attempt to make that effort.

The Young Mormon feminist group is the inspiration for this group.

Many people we encounter have good “intentions” when it comes to anti-racism. But a cry we hear far too much is “But what can I do?”. The intention of this exercise is to work on discrete ways and tasks that we can all undertake to decrease the presence of white supremacy in our society and in the systems that underpin it.

We are academics. There are lots of systems.

We are responsible for undoing the racist system that was built for our benefit.

This will be a six month challenge. It is not a contest, but a group exercise. Everyone will set goals and check in EVERY WEEK to report on those goals.

This exercise is for white people. People of color are welcome in the group to observe and comment but are exempt from reporting requirements.

Some recent experience has demonstrated that ground rules are crucial for creating effective anti-racist space. Here they are:

  • To join this group you recognize that white supremacy and racism exists, and you want to do active work to dismantle it. You will be removed from the group if you demonstrate otherwise.
  • You must commit to create an action plan for yourself. You will be actively reporting goals EACH WEEK in our (closed) facebook group.
  • Failure to report progress will result in removal from the group. We won’t all reach our goal every time, but reporting is mandatory.
  • If you fail to report for 2 weeks in a row, or 3 weeks total you will be removed from the group. If you can’t keep up, please remove yourself. It is important that people joining this group understand that this is work it is necessary to prioritize.
  • Ally cookies will be in short supply. This is not a place to get a pat on the head for doing what, if we’re honest, is work that our society (and we) should have started long ago.

Go here to sign up. The intended starting date is June 1st, to give people time to get a little organized.

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