Diversity, Accessibility, Inclusion, and Equity

During this period of strategic change for our membership association, ASTC has prioritized expanding the scope and impact of our shared diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and equity efforts. All members of our staff and board are active in this process, and the following are updates on our journey. I invite you to follow along through this web page and our blog posts, and to share with us any feedback and suggestions.
—Cristin Dorgelo, President and CEO

 

ASTC Policy Statement on Diversity, Accessibility, Inclusion, and Equity

Approved by the ASTC Board of Directors on September 28, 2018

The Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) values and celebrates the rich diversity that makes up the teams and organizations we serve and the broader communities we engage around the world. At the root of science, technology, and innovation are fundamental values that ASTC embraces: a commitment to seek out and engage a diversity of ideas, perspectives, backgrounds, disciplines, knowledge systems, and approaches; and an evolving practice of accepting, valuing, and celebrating contributions, discoveries, and novel solutions regardless of their source. We commit to bring these values to bear across our work, and we seek teammates, board and committee members, and partners who hold diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and equity as foundational and essential values. If all people are welcomed, respected, and included in our work, if everyone has access to opportunity to pursue their aspirations, and if all people can participate fully and actively in creating and building the future, our association, our members, and our global society will be more equitable, prosperous, just, and resilient.

 

ASTC’s Commitment to Embrace and Prioritize Diversity, Accessibility, Inclusion, and Equity

Approved by the ASTC Board of Directors on June 29, 2018

The Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) brings together museums, science centers, and cultural and informal learning institutions rich in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)—organizations serving communities around the globe. Our world is rich in diversity, and ASTC embraces those differences, including in ability, age, color, ethnicity, race, family or marital status, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy and related medical conditions, language, national origin, political affiliation, religion, socioeconomic status, veteran status, health status and other dimensions of diversity. Building on international commitments, including the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we strive to be welcoming and responsive to all who seek to engage with ASTC.

ASTC believes that diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and equity are paramount values in our increasingly connected global society. Over the past decades, we have invested in and will continue to invest in action for the field in support of these values—including our Diversity and Leadership Development Fellows Program, our collaborative support of the Cultural Competence Learning Institute, the long-running YouthALIVE! initiative, the focus we place on inclusion in STEM during International Science Center and Science Museum Day, and multiple grant-supported programs focused on broadening participation in our field and in STEM around the world.

Initiated by ASTC’s leadership change in early 2018, ASTC has embarked on a time of reflection and taken the opportunity to turn our focus inward. As we listen to our members, reflect on how ASTC can uniquely impact society in positive ways, and reevaluate our priorities and strategy, we are committed to an ongoing process of institutional change and improvement. From hiring practices to staff development, from governance to member services, we commit to learn from others, develop open and self-reflective processes and operations, and prioritize diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and equity in all aspects of our work. With input from our board, members, and external experts, our next step is to design and implement a multi-year action plan that embodies diversity, accessibility, equity, and inclusion. A wide array of perspectives, views, and experiences allows us to be a stronger, more effective, and more creative association and workplace.

It is our hope that ASTC will be recognized by its members and partners as a truly welcoming and inclusive organization, with staff, leadership, and a Board of Directors who bring innovative ideas and approaches that reflect and support the diversity of our members.

 

If you would like to support ASTC’s work in these areas, please consider making a gift to the ASTC Diversity Challenge Fund. Founding donors and additional supporters of the fund are listed here.