EIJC Summer Session #5 (LGBTQ+)


Monday, July 27, 2020, 2:30pm to 3:30pm



The Challenges LGBTQ+ People Face in Academia. This session will be led by Boryana Hadzhiyska and Jessica Mink. See below for more information on what they will cover, the "required" listening, and some extra resources.

On their paths towards an academic career, many LGBTQ+ people experience significant challenges starting as early as elementary school, which often prevent them from ever reaching the rungs of the academic ladder. Hostile environments at school, combined with a lack of support from the community, are well-known contributors to the higher percentages of dropouts, suicide attempts, homelessness, etc. among LGBTQ+ youth. Societal factors such as over-policing, scant funding, bias-related violence, and hate crimes, which disproportionately affect LGBTQ+ youth (especially black and brown people) further decrease their chances of academic success. Even those who manage to attain higher-education degrees continue to struggle daily with issues of harassment, discrimination, and lack of acceptance in these institutions rooted in white heteronormativity. We welcome you to a discussion of the many problems LGBTQ+ youth are faced with and what we, as educators and scientists, can do to intervene and make everyone feel welcome.

Boryana will give a 15-minute overview of the types of problems that LGBTQ+ youth face early on, followed by a 15-minute talk from Jessica on how higher-ed institutions can be hostile to LGBTQ+ people in academia and possible ways to improve the culture at these institutions. We will then break into discussion groups, where the participants can choose between role-play scenarios and concrete questions to facilitate discourse. We will then have a final 15-minute discussion with everyone on the call.

Before Monday, please listen to these three podcasts:

As well as read this recent article from Nature:

The following are highly recommended resources for further exploration on this topic:

The Nashville Recommendations for Inclusive Astronomy (2015-2016)
    Blogged Summary
    Full Recommendations

Finally, if you can, please consider supporting one or more of the following organizations: