Ten years of the ASTC Diversity and Leadership Development Fellows Program

DSC_0136This year marks the 10th anniversary of ASTC’s Diversity and Leadership Development Fellows Program, designed to support people of color in the science center field and to increase the diversity of delegates at the ASTC Annual Conference. In response to the ever-changing nature of equity and diversity issues, eligibility criteria have since been expanded to include individuals with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender professionals as well. Since the launch of the Fellowship, more than 100 science center professionals have participated in the program.

Fellows will participate in a number of intensive personal and professional development experiences at conference over the next few days, including a full-day workshop on October 30 facilitated by ASTC staff, Alumni Fellows, and members of the ASTC Equity and Diversity committee. The Fellows experience will continue throughout the conference, with regular lunchtime meetings to discuss conference experiences and brainstorm session ideas for future ASTC conferences.

There are a number of opportunities for conference attendees to support the Fellowship program. Stop by the ASTC Resource Center in the Exhibit Hall to watch the special 10th anniversary retrospective video and pick up your “Equity & Diversity Advocate” badge ribbon. Also, don’t miss your chance to meet other advocates at the Advocates for Diversity Networking Reception on the evening of October 31.

Perhaps the best (and most fun) way to support the program is by attending the Fiesta After the Feast Dance Party, following the ASTC banquet on October 31, in the Piney Woods Ballroom at the Sheraton. Close out the first day of conference dancing the night away at this “spooktacular” Halloween bash. Costumes are encouraged, and you may even be rewarded for your creativity. All proceeds from this event directly support future ASTC Fellows. Tickets for the party will be available at registration ($25) and at the door ($35).

About the image: ASTC Diversity and Leadership Fellows and Alumni. Photo by Christine Ruffo