The initiative followed the hashtags #ShutDownAcademia, #ShutDownSTEM, and #Strike4BlackLives. Learn more about that day on the Shutdown STEM website.
MSU’s Department of Mathematics initiated a pledge in response to these initiatives.
Members of the Department understand the need to act now and have vowed to take action steps including the following:
- Work on a plan to build meaningful connections with K-12 schools and local community organizations that allow for greater participation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) students in STEM disciplines, particularly mathematics.
- Contact chairs and representatives at HBCUs to recruit their students for an international summer internship to start next year.
- Include articles suggested by the ASCN (Accelerating systemic Change in STEM Network) website on our reading list this fall.
- Revise our curriculum to reflect all of these elements and build on our collective strengths. As a department which is committed to mathematics and teaching, we are uniquely situated to fight injustice through the interplay of quantitative and qualitative ways of exploring, understanding, and changing our world.
- Revise our curriculum with a focus on social justice issues. A math major must have certain quantitative skills and learn to appreciate the beauty of mathematical thinking but also have a keen sense of the larger implications of STEM on our society.
- Read important articles (specifically Does STEM Stand Out? Examining Racial/Ethnic Gaps in Persistence Across Postsecondary Fields) on academic racism to help inform our scholarly work on equity and access for under-represented groups in STEM.
- During our conference presentations, incorporate discussions about what we can do as an organization to bring more diversity to students who enter into mathematics teaching in NJ.
- Become a member of The National Association of Mathematicians, which was founded in 1969 by a group of Black and Hispanic mathematicians in response to systemic racism that was/is present in our major mathematics conferences and in the largest professional organization in our field, the American Mathematical Society.