Diversity


AMS Special Statement on Racism and Inequity

June 1, 2020

We add our voice to the millions calling for truth and justice for the Floyd, Taylor, and Arbery families. We stand in support of those working to dismantle systems that lead to inequality, oppression and violence. As the AMS continues to reckon with its own history, equity, diversity, and inclusion are top priorities for us to work toward. This is a difficult time for many of our community. We support you, and know that we must take care of one another. We are strongest together.

--Catherine Roberts, AMS Executive Director

 


We value the contributions of all members of our mathematics community to improve mathematics research, education, and the standing of the mathematical sciences.

Why are diversity and inclusion 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. (You can read more about this part of the history of Mathematical Reviews at the Beyond Reviews blog.) As in nature, a professional ecosystem like mathematics thrives when its participants are as diverse as possible.

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. Being aware of how we interact and the types of relationships and communities we build are critical in order for the mathematical sciences to flourish.

The resources we provide here are for everyone — people of marginalized and underrepresented identities as well as their mainstream allies, students, faculty, and leaders — to foster the excellence of all members of our community.

LatinasMathematically Gifted & Black features accomplishments of Black scholars in the mathematical sciences, including young, rising stars.

Lathisms was founded in 2016 in order to showcase the contributions of Latinx and Hispanic mathematicians.

The AMS inclusion/exclusion blog is a place to discuss issues pertaining to marginalized and underrepresented groups in mathematics.

TEACH's Doctoral Program Resources for Minority Students reviews difficulties and barriers facing women and minority doctoral candidates.

 

Being an ally

People who have not been subjects of discriminatory attitudes and actions can be powerful allies in working for social justice. Here are some resources to guide you in what you can do to help.

For leaders

           

From the Council of Graduate Schools and the Educational Testing Service, The Global Postgraduate Diversity Resource shares essays written by international leaders in the field of postgraduate education on pressing issues in the field, as well as articles, syllabi, and videos designed to inform postgraduate diversity initiatives.

From the American Association for the Advancement of Science, "SEA Change 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.

For teachers

           

Inclusive teaching is a pedagogical style with an explicit, purposeful focus that aligns course content, norms, assessment, and institutional practices to provide equitable learning experiences and opportunities for all students.

To build a more inclusive classroom, visit Brown University's Sheridan Center. You can also learn more about implicit bias, microaggressions, and stereotype threat.

EQUIP is a tool you can use to collect data about successes and barriers to equity and inclusivity in your classroom.

For mentors

           

An effective mentor is more than a good teacher, coach, advisor, or even friend. Effective mentoring requires 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 (URMs) 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.

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.

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

From The Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning at Brown University, read more about Inclusive Mentoring.

The Center for Faculty Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill addresses the role of departmental climate in the successful retention, promotion and professional development of women and faculty of color Mentoring for Diversity and Inclusion.

For bystanders

           

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.

The ADVANCEGeo Partnership, funded by the National Science Foundation, offers an excellent overview of steps you can take to respond to hostile behavior, both in-person and online.

The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN) is a national anti-sexual violence organization, providing tools for bystanders to sexual violence as well as hosting the National Sexual Assault Prevention Online Hotline.

For all of us

           

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.

Bias Interrupters from the Center for Worklife Law are a set of metrics and tools to help organizations, teams, and individuals identify bias-related problems, interrupt bias, and assess the effectiveness of interventions.

Take an online test to identify some of your own implicit biases at Project Implicit hosted at Harvard University. You may find some surprises! 

Learn about implicit bias, microaggressions, and stereotype threat through Brown University's Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning.

Extra reading . . . .

           

Finding community

These organizations and programs provide safe spaces for mathematicians of marginalized groups to share their research, network with colleagues, and advocate for equity.

Mathematically Gifted and Black

The National Association of Mathematicians (NAM) is open to everyone interested in promoting excellence in the mathematical sciences for underrepresented American minorities in general and African-Americans in particular.

The Conference for African American Researchers in Mathematical Sciences (CAARMS) highlights current research by African-American researchers and graduate students in mathematics, strengthens the mathematical sciences by encouraging increased participation of African-Americans and members of other underrepresented groups, facilitates working relations among them, and provides assistance to them in cultivating their careers.

The Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) is an inclusive organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in STEM.

The Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) plays a critical role in increasing the presence and visibility of women in the mathematical sciences and works toward a more nurturing culture for women in the mathematical sciences.

Spectra is a website for LGBTQ+ mathematicians and their allies to recognize and promote community for Gender and Sexual Minority mathematicians.

Do you know of other identity-based communities or resources that are not included here? Please let us know !

Additional resources for students

The Math Alliance works to ensure that every student from an underrepresented or underserved population with the talent and ambition has the opportunity to earn a doctoral degree in a mathematical science, through mentoring, graduate school preparation, and other programs.

The EDGE Program strengthens the ability of women students to successfully complete PhD programs in the mathematical sciences and aims to place more women in visible leadership roles in the mathematics community.

TEACH's Doctoral Program Resources for Minority Students reviews the difficulties and barriers facing women and minority doctoral candidates and provides sources for graduate school funding.

Additional resources are available at the MAA's Resources for Minority Students and Faculty

 

Join the community at the AMS Blogs

Math Mamas blog considers how the identities of being a mathematician and a mother intersect (and sometimes collide) each and every day. Living Proof complimentary eBook

The Inclusion/Exclusion blog discusses issues pertaining to marginalized and underrepresented groups in mathematics, to help develop a more inclusive, supportive, and diverse community of mathematicians.

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

The Living Proof blog is an extension of the free e-book Living Proof: Stories of Resilience Along the Mathematical Journey, and will continue to share stories of struggles and strength so they can become a part of someone else’s story of resilience.

 

AMS Graduate Student Chapters

AMS Graduate Student Chapters offer student-driven programming to enhance students' graduate studies. Chapters also connect with each other to share questions and ideas about life as graduate students.

 

Getting help

If you experience or witness harassment or other forms of misconduct, there are several resources available to help you.

If the misconduct involves someone in your institution, contact your institution's Human Resources or Diversity Office. Many institutions have ways you can get support or make reports confidentially, or even anonymously.

The National Science Foundation is taking action against sexual harassment in NSF-sponsored research and programs. To report any harassment you were subjected to, have witnessed, or became aware of involving an NSF-funded program or activity, complete this form, or contact the NSF Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) at programcomplaints@nsf.gov or call 1.703.292.8020.

Harassment — sexual or otherwise — is a form of misconduct that can undermine the integrity of AMS activities and mission. The AMS endeavors to maintain an environment that is free of harassment. (See: AMS Policy Statement on Anti-Harassment) Any person aware of inappropriate conduct can file a report confidentially and anonymously to +1-855-282-5703 or at www.mathsociety.ethicspoint.com The reporting mechanism ensures your privacy while alerting the AMS to the situation.

A Word from... AMS Executive Director Catherine Roberts in the March 2020 Notices discusses steps the AMS has taken toward reporting and stopping harassment in our workplaces.

 

AMS Governance Statements

Policy Statement on Anti-Harassment
Statement on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Policy Statement on Ethical Guidelines
Policy on a Welcoming Environment

 

Recognizing and inspiring

Since 2006 the AMS has given The Award for Mathematics Programs that Make a Difference to mathematics programs that 1) aim to bring more persons from underrepresented backgrounds into some portion of the pipeline beginning at the undergraduate level and leading to advanced degrees in mathematics and professional success, or retain them once in the pipeline; 2) have achieved documentable success in doing so; and 3) are replicable models.

The AMS creates posters that celebrate the achievements of a diverse group of mathematicians. These posters are free and available upon request from the AMS Public Awareness Office.

women doing math
Latinas;
Mathematically Gifted and Black
hidden figures