Black Lives Matter and anti-racism resources

Aside from showing up at protests (wear a mask the whole time! to not spread COVID and to protect your identity!), talking with neighbors (I think I convinced an older white guy that being at a protest doesn’t mean you deserve tear gas), and donating money (scroll down for places), I’ve been reading and reflecting and flagging for follow-up. White supremacy is ingrained in nearly every aspect of my life. Recognizing it, unlearning it. and actively working against it is possible (and necessary!) and I’m in it for the long haul. If you’re tired of hearing about racism, imagine how tired Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are of experiencing and living it! Here are a list of articles, tweets, and organizations relevant to Black Lives Matter, protests, and anti-racism. Please read and share, and contact me if you have suggestions/corrections.

Articles I’ve read/on my to-read list

This is a mix of articles on current events and analysis of historical events that provide context for the current Black Lives Matter movement. I’ve put things in alphabetical order by author’s last name. You’re welcome to provide further suggestions!

Twitter threads that are extra super good

I’ve re-tweeted and signal-boosted lots on my twitter, but these threads get extra mention. Again, alphabetical by last name, where possible.

Organizations to donate to

Lansing-area twitter accounts to follow for protest and safety info

  • BLMLansing (FYI, they did not organize the May 31st protest; after a few hours of the nonviolent protest that formed, they strongly encouraged everyone to go home)
  • LansingDSA
  • BLMPolice and InghamScanner (tweets of what’s said on the police scanner)

Some more articles, while you’re here

If we’re mutuals on Instagram, you can also check out some info and resources I’ve saved to my IG Stories.

Take care 💖

Letter to the AAS on #BlackLivesMatter

I’ve decided that I have the energy to channel my anger and frustration and sadness regarding the murder of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling (and the 604+ people of color who have been killed by the police in the US since January 1 2016) to do something about it. Specifically, I was moved by this tweet thread to write to a professional organization I belong to, the American Astronomical Society, asking them to endorse or issue a statement of solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Below is the letter:

Dear AAS Council,

I was enthused to see a post by AAS CSMA members on the Women in Astronomy blog ( making a statement of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. However, I was very disappointed that this statement is not (yet) officially endorsed by the AAS or even the CSMA. Please endorse this statement or issue a similar one.

At a time when our Black colleagues and their families are facing the very real threat of violence and death in their everyday lives, they need to know that their professional organization acknowledges this and provides full support. The amount of effort it takes to do the emotional diversity work is staggering, and our Black colleagues do it every day. It is past time for white allies and predominantly white organizations to step up and shoulder that responsibility too, *especially* when Black people are being gunned down by the police. I find it wrong that the only diversity issue widely discussed in astronomy is sexism, when racism and white supremacy are so pervasive as well. Additionally, solidarity with gender minorities without solidarity with racial/ethnic minorities does not fully support colleagues with intersectional identities such as black women.

Our Black colleagues need to know that they have the full official support of the AAS, and that their contributions to science matter to the AAS, not just because they are POC and “diversity is important”, but because they are human beings with inherently valuable lives, and we live in a world where that needs to be re-said. Science does not happen in a societal vacuum, and the voice of the AAS is needed now to ensure that Black astronomers feel like a valuable part of the scientific community.

Abigail Stevens
PhD Candidate, Univ. of Amsterdam
Junior AAS member

(Thank you to Dave Tsang and Madhura Killedar for feedback on this letter!)