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People who have not been subjects of discrimination can be powerful advocates and allies in the pursuit of equity and social justice. Whether you are a leader, teacher, mentor, or bystander, here are some resources to guide you in what you can do to advocate for your colleagues, students, and all participants in our mathematics community.

Why are diversity and equity important?

Otto Neugebauer, founder of the AMS's Mathematical Reviews, uprooted his family to come to the U.S. in order to avoid the anti-Semitic restrictions of the Nazi era in Europe that prohibited the participation of Jewish mathematicians in professorial and editorial activities. His objection to discrimination stemmed from an abiding belief that including a diverse group of participants makes you stronger. (Read more at the Beyond Reviews blog.)
As in nature, a professional ecosystem like mathematics thrives from diversity. The different experiences of diverse participants bring new questions, fresh ideas, innovative perspectives on old problems, and unique energies and skills. But a mere count of which types of identities are present is just the first step toward achieving vitality in our workplaces. Awareness of how we interact, understanding the experiences of mathematicians who have not been well-served in our profession, and building relationships and communities that engage all of us equitably are critical for the mathematical sciences to flourish.

Racism and anti-racism

"Systemic racism" refers to embedded policies and practices that produce disparate outcomes for people of different races. Policies and practices can be racist—regardless of intent—when they create or sustain inequitable outcomes and result in barriers that impact the full participation of our colleagues.
"Anti-racism" is the premise that policies and practices can be intentionally constructed to nullify the outcomes of racist policies. The AMS is committed to identifying policies and practices in our organization and our community that have inequitable outcomes, and abrogating them to enable the equitable participation of all mathematicians.

Leaders as advocates

These resources provide tools leaders can use to advocate for and create more equitable campus environments:

  • From the Council of Graduate Schools and the Educational Testing Service, The Global Postgraduate Diversity Resource shares essays written by international leaders in postgraduate education on pressing issues in the field, as well as articles, syllabi, and videos designed to inform diversity initiatives.
  • The STEMM Equity Achievement Change (SEA Change) program from the American Association for the Advancement of Science "supports institutional transformation in support of diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially in colleges and universities."
  • The National Science Foundation's Promising Practices describes best practices for NSF-funded activities.
  • Bias Interrupters from the Center for Worklife Law are a set of metrics and tools to help you identify bias-related problems, interrupt bias, and assess the effectiveness of interventions across your organization or within teams.
  • The White Ally Toolkit equips readers with best practices in listening, storytelling, and other work to counter the denial of racism.

Leaders can promote the visibility of the contributions of mathematicians of underrepresented groups by visiting the Finding Resources section on this page, where they can identify accomplished mathematicians to include in professional activities. In addition

Teachers and mentors as advocates

Inclusive Classrooms provide equitable learning experiences and opportunities for all students.

Effective mentoring entails a sustained professional relationship among two or more people to provide educational, career, and personal support. Effective mentoring results in increased recruitment and inclusion of underrepresented minorities and women in graduate school and research-related career paths. Mentoring has also been shown to play a crucial role in the success of early-career faculty.
Read more about mentoring:

  • The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine has an interactive guide on The Science of Mentoring, which provides evidence-based recommendations and tools for effective mentoring, including models that include networks among multiple individuals.
  • Inclusive Mentoring from The Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning at Brown University.
  • Mentoring for Diversity and Inclusion from the Center for Faculty Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill .

The AMS e-Mentoring Network blog connects students and mentors in the mathematical sciences.

Bystanders as advocates

When observing incidents of harassment or bias it's difficult to know how to get involved or interrupt what's happening. You might be concerned about how to intervene safely and effectively, or assume someone else will handle it. Research evidence shows that the larger the number of bystanders that are present during an incident, the less likely it is that someone from the crowd will step in to help. Fortunately there are some specific tools to prepare you to actively intervene in incidents of bullying, harassment, and biased speech.

Learn about bystander intervention:

Minimizing bias and other microaggressions

Implicit bias is a phenomenon in which we associate stereotypes or make other assumptions about people in ways that we are not aware of ourselves, regardless of our conscious beliefs or intentions.
Learn more about managing bias:

Learn more about being an advocate:

Questions about AMS Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion efforts? Please email us..