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Homework for Those Seeking to be Allies

22 May 2015, 16:15 UTC
Homework for Those Seeking to be Allies
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

The below by Dr. Sarah Ballard is cross-posted (with permission) from John Johnson's blog, Mahalo.ne.Trash.  Dr. Ballard is a Carl Sagan postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington, and soon-to-be Torres Fellow at MIT.The writer and activist Janet Mock describes the idea of an “ally” as more of an action, and less of an identity. “Ally” is something that we actively do, not something that we can ever passively be. I found this conception very helpful to hear because it posits “ally” within the context of hard work. Being an ally is hard work. It is similar to my other kinds of work (in astronomy and elsewhere) in that (1) improvement is not only facilitated by criticism from respected peers and colleagues, it relies upon this criticism, and (2) it’s characterized less by large leaps and bounds, and much more by constant and small day-to-day efforts.I consider the ally process an integral part of my job that I simply must do in order to participate meaningfully in the astronomy community. I trained myself to allot time everyday to check arXiv, so I can train myself to be a better ally. These things are both “my work.” If it is helpful to ...

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