A year after the Black Cultural Center opened to great fanfare, the two new “startup centers” will open this year to focus on two other ethnic identities: The Latinx Student Center and APIDA (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American) Student Center will start serving students in smaller spaces in the North Mezzanine area of the Red Gym, which houses the Multicultural Student Center, and work toward grand openings in the spring of 2019.
Archives for August 2018
Last month, anti-Asian graffiti was painted in residences on the campus of my PhD alma mater, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, and Asian students’ work was vandalized with racist slogans. That same week brought allegations that a leading astrophysicist at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany, had used racist language towards trainees, among other bullying. (The astrophysicist has defended her behaviour, and says her comments were distorted and taken out of context; see news story.)
When I first started writing, I wrote a piece called 10 Things I Wish my White Teacher Knew. I took some time to reflect on my school years as a black girl with mostly white teachers in Metro Detroit. I got a lot of positive feedback. One teacher said, “I loved your piece!” I thanked her and I told her she was a remarkable teacher, and our students were lucky to have her. She responded,“I don’t see color, I just see kids.” I knew she meant no harm, so I smiled. But it bothers me to this day I didn’t ask her to reevaluate her approach. So, I have been thinking about the eleventh thing I wish my white teacher knew: You need to see color.
I knew grad school would be difficult, but I was surprised to find one way in which I wanted to work harder: learning how to talk about science. I grew up seeing science misrepresented or misunderstood in the news and pop culture. I thought the relationship between science and society needed repair, and I saw scientists’ isolation as part of the problem. So I couldn’t believe that my Ph.D. program was willing to release me into the world without teaching me how to talk to people outside academe.
“Gaining STEAM!” is the latest project from JKX Comics, a UW-Madison graduate student-led group, that is working to create science comics (see an example here) for scientists in various departments, career stages, and backgrounds at UW-Madison. Through this project, as a scientist you will get to improve your science communication skills, share the meaningful research you do with the Madison community, meet diverse scientists from all across campus, AND work with local artists to have your research turned into a comic book for FREE! Apply now for this unique opportunity!Gaining STEAM! Flyer