Climate and Diversity

The Astronomy Department stands in support of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)

The Astronomy Department stands in support of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), who continue to suffer from long-standing systemic racism. Recent incidents of police brutality against BIPOC are symptomatic of systemic racism that cannot be tolerated. The senseless murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Tony McDade, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice and too many others cannot be tolerated. Their lives matter. Black Lives Matter.

Our words of empathy and outrage must translate into persistent action. As members of an institution with elite privilege, we have not done enough to overturn, and therefore have been responsible for perpetuating, the oppression that our BIPOC colleagues regularly face.  This injustice is present at all levels within the academic environment. APS reported that only 3% of undergraduate degrees in Physics were awarded to Black students in 20171.  AIP statistics from 2012 show that only 2% of PhDs in Physics have been awarded to Black students2, and that Black scientists comprise only 2.1% of Physics faculty in the US3

The academic community has a large sphere of influence around the world. This provides an extensive network for students, educators, and scientists to affect real change by modeling a culture that values diversity. This must start within our own department by creating an environment that welcomes and supports BIPOC. We will work hard to mitigate the effects of systemic racism within our astronomy community.  We will work to be part of the change that the world needs now.
 

1https://www.aps.org/programs/education/statistics/aamajors.cfm

2https://www.aps.org/careers/statistics/upload/trends-phd0214.pdf

3https://www.aip.org/sites/default/files/statistics/faculty/africanhisp-fac-pa-12.pdf

Mission Statement

As members of the Yale Astronomy Department community, we will treat each other with respect, dignity, and professionalism, such that our day-to-day work is both productive and enjoyable.

We embrace open communication and constructive discourse to cultivate a welcoming and collaborative community in which all voices are heard and respected. We believe this will lead to a supportive and respectful environment where individuals of all gender identities, sexualities, nationalities, disabilities, and socio-economic, religious and racial backgrounds can thrive. A diverse community broadens the spectrum of ideas, enhances scientific excellence, and supports the overall mission of the Department and the University. 

While we are working toward these goals, we are mindful of our conduct, representing our department in a thoughtful and appropriate manner within all professional settings. In this environment, we acknowledge that department members have a variety of Institutional and Departmental roles, and we encourage everyone to use their positions to help others. With this mindset and these actions, we commit to sustain an environment free of misconduct and harassment, enabling and supporting all community members to do their best work.

Please us the Yale ACDC Anonymous Feedback Form to provide feedback to the committee.

Astronomy Climate and Diversity Committee

Committee Members

Professors

Paolo Coppi
Marla Geha
Michael Faison
Pieter van Dokkum

Graduate students

Claire Dickey
Imad Pasha
Ava Polzin
Malena Rice
Zili Shen
Lily Zhao

Postdocs

Jean McKeever
Michael Tremmel

Undergraduates

Trustin Henderson
Erin Lippitt
Abby Mintz
Keduse Worku

Additional Campus Resources

diversity and inclusion

Office of Diversity and Inclusion 
Yale Resource Office on Disabilities
Office of LGBTQ Resources
Cultural Affairs and Centers (Afro-American Cultural Center, Asian American Cultural Center, La Casa Cultural, and Native American Cultural Center) 
Yale’s Chaplain’s Office (information about Battell Chapel, Yale’s Breathing Space, the Buddhist shrine, Dwight Chapel, the Hindu prayer room, Musalla, and sacred spaces near campus)
Office of International Students & Scholars

sexual harassment, misconduct, and discrimination

Title IX Office
Sexual Harassment and Assault Response & Education Center

Health and wellness

Yale Health - Counseling Services
Student Wellness at Yale Health
Yale Good Life Center