STEM PUSH Network Blog

STEM PUSH Network Tests Approach to Build Staff Capacity to Reflect Upon and Disrupt Racism in STEM

By Talia Stol In order to change and disrupt systems, one must first “see” the system and one’s location within it, and then be able to openly discuss how systems operate to benefit some at the expense of others. That is the big thinking behind the STEM PUSH Network’s “Racism in STEM Discussion Routine” for pre-college STEM program staff.  The routine involves completing a personal reflection about positionality in STEM, listening to a podcast, and participating in a discussion about the podcast’s themes. The idea was developed by a group of Network partners, inspired by an activity designed by Dr. Odaelys Walwyn-Pollard and Dr. Disan Davis of RockEDU’s JUMPSTART and Summer Science Research Programs. Last summer, their high school-age students listened to a podcast episode entitled “The Liberation of RNA” and discussed their reactions with each other. The open, meaningful, community-building conversations that emerged among this racially and economically diverse


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