Civic Science Resources for Racial Equity

Recognizing the need to increase the power of science and science engagement to serve the public good, civic science seeks to redress systemic racism and other forms of marginalization to advance a more inclusive, diverse, equitable, and resilient future. This collection of resources and calls to action, created and recommended by members of the civic science network, reflects the longstanding work of many, particularly by people of color. It is designed to support shared learning and action to build racial equity and dismantle systemic racism as part of the work of civic science. We welcome suggestions for additional resources—please reach out to

Science and the Academy
Public Health and Medicine
Community Safety
Racial Equity and Anti-Racism
The Future


Advancing Antiracism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in STEMM Organizations
Gilda A. Barabino, Susan T. Fiske, Layne A. Scherer, and Emily A. Vargas, Editors
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

A consensus report examining steps required to dismantle policies and practices that disadvantage people from minoritized groups.

On Racial Justice, Statements Are Not Enough
Fernando Tormos-Aponte
Scientific American

An essay outlining next steps for academic institutions and scientific organizations to address societal inequities, beyond supportive statements.

Injustice in Science [Museums]
Ivel Gontan
Museum 2.0

A blog post from Civic Science Fellow Ivel Gontan discussing solutions for how museums can address systems of oppression through accountability, vulnerability, humility, patience and persistence, and coalition building.

A Twitter hashtag, originated by communications scholars Shardé M. Davis and Joy Melody Woods, which Black scholars are using to share personal experiences of racism and discrimination in academia.

A Twitter community, originated by the biochemist Stephani Page, supporting conversations among Black scientists, engineers, and mathematicians on topics including research, careers, mental health, policy, education, and professional development. Also see #BlackInNeuroWeek.

Action steps for researchers, department leaders, students, funding agencies, support staff, and professional societies, as well as a list of community organizations supporting scientists of color, compiled in connection with #ShutDownSTEM, designed to mark “transition into a lifelong commitment of actions to eradicate anti-Black racism in academia and STEM.”

A Call to Action for an Anti-Racist Science Community from Geoscientists of Color: Listen, Act, Lead
Vernon Morris, Lisa White, Jose D. Fuentes, Christopher L. Atchison, Wendy F. Smythe, Melissa Burt, Leticia Williams, Aradhna Tripati, Belay B. Demoz, and Roy A. Armstrong
A challenge and list of strategies for scientists and scientific institutions to initiate sustained action against racism and exclusion in STEM fields. The authors note, “We are scientists. Solving difficult problems is what we do.”

Give Black Scientists a Place in This Fight
Adrianne Gladden-Young
The Atlantic

A review of historic and ongoing discrimination against Black Americans in medicine and science, from the perspective of a scientist studying COVID-19. Gladden-Young writes, “At the moment, the coronavirus is attacking a major feature of America’s system—our profound racial divides. The nation’s public-health, medical, and scientific communities cannot address this pathway to infection without building trust among black Americans and giving black scientists a greater role in the fight.”

Is Now a Teachable Moment for Economists?
William Spriggs
Department of Economics, Howard University

An open letter to economists calling for a reexamination of the field’s founding assumptions about race and their impact on policy.

Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Is a Leadership Issue for All of Us
Joyce Yen
PLOS Blogs

An introduction to core strategies for initiating diversity, equity, and inclusion leadership development in STEM fields. See also the University of Washington ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change Resource Library.

Cognitive Reserve and Racial Privilege in STEM
Mélise Edwards
An examination of the impact of the “visible and invisible workload” disproportionately borne by Black and Brown students in collective efforts to diversify STEM fields.

A Dispatch from the AGU Archives: Five Blogs on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Caroline Gleason
The Bridge – Connecting Science and Policy, American Geophysical Union

Recognizing that the geosciences are among the least diverse of the STEM fields, this collection of posts and further reading shares perspectives from the community on making diversity, equity, and inclusion a serious priority.

Background to Breakthrough
The Wonder Collaborative
Short films highlighting scientists of color whose backgrounds and perspectives have spurred insights and innovations.

Focus Area: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Initiatives and articles related to expanding access to STEM education, strengthening and diversifying the science and technology workforce, and amplifying underrepresented and marginalized voices within STEM.

POC2 Podcast
A monthly podcast hosted by Karel Green, Pruthvi Mehta, and Sehher Tariq, three women of color who discuss the reality of being underrepresented in STEM and how to navigate this space effectively without sacrificing personal wellbeing. Each episode suggests practical improvements supported by tailored evidence that universities and research groups can use to make science more inclusive.

Vanguard: Conversations with Women of Color in STEM
An online community for women, girls, and non-binary people of color in STEM to connect with each other and celebrate and affirm their identities and STEM interests in a safe place.


Charting a Course for an Equity-Centered Data System
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Report of the National Commission to Transform Public Health Data Systems, intended to reimagine how data are collected, shared, and used, and identify investments needed to improve health equity.

The Color of Coronavirus: COVID-19 Deaths by Race and Ethnicity in the U.S.
APM Research Lab
A project monitoring the distribution and burden of the COVID-19 pandemic as a guide for policy and community response to disproportionate outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic. From the findings: “If they had died of COVID-19 at the same rate as White Americans, at least 14,400 Black Americans, 1,200 Latino Americans and 200 Indigenous Americans would still be alive.”

Racial Health Disparities and Covid-19 — Caution and Context
Merlin Chowkwanyun and Adolph L. Reed, Jr.
The New England Journal of Medicine

Perspective on the importance of documenting COVID-19 racial disparities alongside context and analysis of the data. The authors write, “Disparity figures without explanatory context can perpetuate harmful myths and misunderstandings that actually undermine the goal of eliminating health inequities.”

On Racism: A New Standard For Publishing On Racial Health Inequities
Rhea W. Boyd, Edwin G. Lindo, Lachelle D. Weeks, and Monica R. McLemore
Health Affairs

A call for rigorous examination of the role of systemic racism in health inequities, with guidelines for researchers, writers, publishers, and reviewers.

Indigenous Data in the Covid-19 Pandemic: Straddling Erasure, Terrorism, and Sovereignty
Stephanie Russo Carroll, Desi Rodriguez-Lonebear, Randall Akee, Annita Lucchesi and Jennifer Rai Richards
Items, Social Science Research Council

As Native communities across the United States continue to be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, an examination of a movement to assert the right of Indigenous Peoples and nations to govern data about their people, lands, and resources, as well as have representation in the disaggregation of national, state, and county data.

Under the Blacklight: The Intersectional Failures that COVID Lays Bare
African American Policy Forum
Moderated by AAPF Executive Director Kimberlé Crenshaw, this series is designed to increase understanding of how cumulative vulnerability is increasing the impact of COVID-19 on some populations more than others and to galvanize action to shift these dynamics.

Social Determinants of Health
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
A collection of resources and initiatives to expand understanding of the social, economic, and environmental factors that shape health, as well as data, knowledge, and tools to inform healthier outcomes.

Kids Count Data Center
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Place-specific data on children and families in the United States, with a focus on health, economic well-being, education, and race and ethnicity. See also the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Race Matters resource collection.

Black Doctors Need More Than Demonstrations, They Need Change
Anthony Chin-Quee, Fatima Cody, Shekinah N. C. Elmore, Jessica Gold, Darrell M. Gray II, Lisa Harding, Danielle Jackson, Michael McClurkin, Jessica Shepherd, Garth Walker, and Estell J. Williams

Ten Black doctors share their perspectives on institutional change in medicine. “I worry that focusing on my individual suffering without actively looking to address its systemic underpinnings simply naturalizes it as inevitable,” writes Shekinah Elmore, a Radiation Oncology Resident. “A swift and total remaking of the academic medical environment that enables, perpetuates, and rewards anti-black racism would do much more for my mental health than a well-meaning text message.”

An American Crisis: The Growing Absence of Black Men in Medicine and Science
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
A summary of a two-day workshop examining factors contributing to the growing scarcity of Black men in medicine and strategies that may have the potential to increase diversity and representation in medicine.

Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination
Alondra Nelson
University of Minnesota Press

An examination of race and healthcare through the lens of the Black Panther Party’s health activism, which included a network of free clinics and challenges to medical discrimination. Available to read online for free in June 2020. See also Alondra Nelson’s plenary lecture at the 2020 AAAS Annual Meeting, “The Social Life of DNA and the Need for a New Bioethics.”

Structural Competency: Theorizing a New Medical Engagement with Stigma and Inequality
Jonathan M. Metzla and Helena Hansen
Social Science and Medicine

An examination of an evolving discourse in medical education that redefines cultural competency in structural terms, promoting awareness of the forces that influence health outcomes at levels above individual interactions—including the organization of institutions, policies, neighborhoods, and cities—in order to increase clinicians’ potential for impact in addressing health inequalities.


Equal Justice Initiative
A nonprofit organization providing legal representation in the state of Alabama as well as leading initiatives to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, challenge racial and economic injustice, and protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. Reports can be found on the EJI website and Just Mercy, a film about the EJI founder Bryan Stevenson, is free to stream for the month of June 2020.

An independent service for reporting police conduct with the goal of shaping effective policy and community safety, founded by Brandon D. Anderson after he lost his life partner to police violence during a routine traffic stop.

Citizens Police Data Project
The Invisible Institute
A project that collects and publishes information about police misconduct in Chicago and brings together efforts to make police data more useful to the public.

Center for Policing Equity
Findings and recommendations from working with police departments to help realize departmental equity goals as well as advance understanding of equity issues.

Racial Disparity
The Sentencing Project
An overview of racial disparity in the U.S. criminal justice system as well as related resources for strategic solutions at different levels.


An Open Letter & Call to Action to the Computing Community
Black in Computing and Black in Computing Allies
A call to action and steps for the tech community to address the systemic and structural inequities that Black people experience in the field.

Computing Community Statements
Quincy K. Brown
A compilation of computing and technology-related organizations and institutions of higher education that have made statements in relation to recent events and racism. H/t Black in Computing.

Data for Black Lives
A movement of activists, organizers, and mathematicians committed to the mission of using data science to create concrete and measurable change in the lives of Black people.

Advancing Racial Literacy in Tech
Jessie Daniels, Mutale Nkonde, and Darakhshan Mir
Data and Society

A report on addressing the racially disparate impacts of technology by advancing racial literacy in tech.

Technological Elites, the Meritocracy, and Post-Racial Myths in Silicon Valley
Safiya Umoja Noble and Sarah T. Roberts
Racism Postrace

An examination from the Co-Directors of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry of how myths of a meritocracy among technology elites perpetuate gender and racial exclusions.

Discriminating Systems: Gender, Race, and Power in AI
Sarah Myers West, Meredith Whittaker, and Kate Crawford
AI Now Institute

Research findings and recommendations to increase diversity in the AI field, including a review of existing literature on issues of gender, race, and class in artificial intelligence.

Algorithmic Justice League
Articles and resources from the Algorithmic Justice League, founded by Joy Buolamwini to combine art and research to mitigate AI bias and harms.

A Toolkit for Centering Racial Equity Within Data Integration
Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy
A toolkit designed to help support data sharing and integration that encourages racial equity and community voice within data integration and use.

Tech Ethics Curricula: A Collection of Syllabi
Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy
A collection of resources that center teaching technology ethics.


I’m a Black Climate Expert. Racism Derails Our Efforts to Save the Planet
Ayana Elizabeth Johnson
Washington Post

“How can people of color effectively lead their communities on climate solutions when faced with pervasive and life-shortening racism?”

Situating the Scientist: Creating Inclusive Science Communication Through Equity Framing and Environmental Justice
Emily Polk and Sibyl Diver
Frontiers in Communication

A research article discussing how environmental justice scholarship can use equity framing to achieve more inclusive science communication through broader access and accountability to marginalized and disadvantaged communities.

Why Racial Justice is Climate Justice
Claire Elise Thompson

Five environmental justice leaders from around the country on addressing the compounded challenges of racial injustice, climate change, and COVID-19.

Keeping Indigenous Science Knowledge out of a Colonial Mold
Kimberly M. S. Cartier
Eos: Science News by AGU
An article on the work of postdoctoral fellow Dominique David-Chavez to develop and test a model that combines climate science research with respect for indigenous communities and knowledge.

Why Local Climate Activism (Still) Matters
Nasib McIntosh
WE ACT for Environmental Justice

“What will happen when the next storm comes? Which communities will be hit the hardest and who has the most to lose?”

Black Birders Week
An online movement highlighting and celebrating Black birders and naturalists, with organizers including Sheridan Alford, Danielle Belleny, Chelsea Connor, Ashley Gary, Tykee James, Corina Newsome, Anna Opoku-Agyeman, Deja Perkins, Lauren Pharr, and Joseph Saunders. (Read their stories here, here, here, here, and here.)


Race and Racism: Doing Better
Communications Network
A new resource for crafting more effective communication through a diversity, equity, and inclusion framework, highlighting focus areas presented in the toolkit such as internal communication and thought leadership as well as key takeaways.

The State of Inclusive Science Communication: A Landscape Study
Sunshine Menezes and Katherine Canfield
Metcalf Institute, University of Rhode Island

An overview of the current inclusive science communication movement and field, which focuses on a paradigm shift in communications that centers on inclusion, equity, and intersectionality.

InclusiveSciComm Resources
A collection of resources and convenings covering a wide range of topics related to inclusive science communication, community science, education, and public engagement with STEM topics, crowdsourced from the #InclusiveSciComm Symposium community.

Voice and Value
Raychelle Burks
#InclusiveSciComm Symposium

Keynote talk from Raychelle Burks presented at the 2018 Inclusive Sci Comm Symposium. —”You have a voice, and your voice has value, and we need it.” 

Science Communication Demands a Critical Approach that Centers Inclusion, Equity, and Intersectionality
Katherine N. Canfield, Sunshine Menezes, Shayle B. Matsuda, Amelia Moore, Alycia N. Mosley Austin, Bryan M. Dewsbury, Mónica I. Feliú-Mójer, Katharine W. B. McDuffie, Kendall Moore, Christine A. Reich, Hollie M. Smith, and Cynthia Taylor
Frontiers in Communication

An article defining and amplifying inclusive science communication, including a call for more experimentation to help make inclusive science communication the future of science communication. Part of a research topic collection on Inclusive Science Communication in Theory and Practice.

BlackLivesMatter and SciComm
“#STEM fields have had, and continue to have, a long history of exclusion and violence against BIPOC. This is also true in SciComm.”

For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It
Susan Goldberg
National Geographic

An editorial introducing a special issue on race and examining National Geographic’s representation of race over time, drawing on findings by historian John Edwin Mason. Goldberg quotes an article by the journalist Michele Norris in the issue: “It’s hard for an individual—or a country—to evolve past discomfort if the source of the anxiety is only discussed in hushed tones.”

Crowdsourcing Anti-Racism Communications
Communications Network
Statements, resources, tools, and guidance compiled by members of the Communications Network, including examples of framing, language, word choice, and narrative guidance; statements from the philanthropic and nonprofit community; and best practices in management with an equity lens.

You Do Not Need to Be Black to Know that Black Lives Matter
Sean Gibbons, Yabsera Faris, Tristan Mohabir, and Carrie Clyne
The Communications Network

Tools and examples to support communicating more clearly about anti-Black racism.

Building Narrative Power
Color of Change
Papers and presentations focused on strategy, infrastructure, and content for culture change and narrative change to effectively advance racial justice.

Eight Lessons for Talking about Race, Racism, and Racial Justice
The Opportunity Agenda
Entry points to improve conversations about race, racism, and racial justice based on research and the input of partners from around the country.

Informing Advocacy and Communications Capacity Building Efforts
ORS Impact
A multi-method, culturally relevant advocacy and communications capacity assessment tool, originally designed for the Gates Foundation, to explore what constitutes strong advocacy and communications, opportunities to build capacity, and how advocacy and communications capacity changes over time.

Finding Pathways to More Equitable and Meaningful Public-Scientist Partnerships
Citizen Science
An essay coauthored by resource partner Rajul Pandya of Thriving Earth Exchange that suggests pathways to more meaningful scientist-community partnerships and engagement with a broader public.

The Principles for Equitable and Inclusive Civic Engagement
Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, Ohio State University
A guide that presents six principles for civic engagement to effectively address barriers to inclusive community decision-making and create meaningful civic engagement.

Recommendations for Exploring Civic Learning as a Pathway to Equity and Opportunity
National Conference on Citizenship and Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement
A paper that provides recommendations for exploring civic learning as a tool to engage with communities around issues of inequity and lack of opportunity.

Broadening Perspectives on Broadening Participation in STEM Toolkit
Informal Science
A toolkit to support science engagement professionals who are developing strategic efforts to broaden participation in STEM.


Leading Courageous Conversations on Race Equity
Nonprofit New York
Based on the workshop by Luz Rodriguez of Visionary Allies and Janvieve Williams of Aligned Strategies Consulting, recommended practices for how to discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.

What’s in a name? Karen and the Aspiration of Whiteness
Karen Andrade

A personal account from Civic Science Fellow Karen Andrade recounting her experiences with class, race, and privilege growing up in Mexico City.

Anti-Racism Resource Guide
Tasha K
A list of foundational anti-racism readings and resources, expanded from Ibram X. Kendi’s Anti-Racist Reading List.

Racial Equity Resource Guide
W. K. Kellogg Foundation
Tools and references for advancing racial equity, including journal articles, books, magazines, videos, and more on a wide variety of topics.

Resources and Reading on Racial Justice, Racial Equity, and Anti-Racism
Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy
Harvard Kennedy School

A collection of resources from the Institutional Anti-Racism and Accountability Project at the Shorenstein Center.

George Floyd Protests Highlight the Deep Racial Disparities in the US and This Is a Moment of Generational Change for Black People – If We Learn the Lessons of the Past
Setti Warren
The Telegraph

The Executive Director of the Shorenstein Center (a Civic Science Fellow Host Partner) discusses the legacy of racial inequity in the United States, his own experiences in the 1960s civil rights movement, and necessary components for realizing change.

Racial Equity Tools
A collection of more than 2,500 resources and case studies for advancing racial equity from around the web and around the country.

Bridging or Breaking? The Stories We Tell Will Create the Future We Inhabit
john a. powell
Nonprofit Quarterly

A discussion of navigating times of anxiety and change through bridging. “Bridging requires that we create space to hear and see each other. It does not require agreement,” powell writes. “Bridging is about co-constructing a larger we, with shifting differences and similarities. Through bridging, people experience being heard, being seen, and being cared for.”

Talking About Race
National Museum of African American History and Culture
A guided introduction to a range of topics related to race and racial identity, including bias, historical foundations of race, community building, and self-care.

Talking About Whiteness
Eula Biss and Krista Tippett
On Being

A conversation exploring the experience and debt of whiteness, a response in part to Claudia Rankine’s essay “The Condition of Black Life Is One of Mourning.”

Divided by Design
E Pluribus Unum Fund
A report based on dialogues in 28 communities in the American South around the issues of race, equity, violence, and economic opportunity.

Race, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion
Vu Le
Nonprofit AF

Posts examining barriers to racial equity in philanthropy and the nonprofit space, including the role of privilege, power, and personal conflicts; the pervading problem of Solutions Privilege; and a lack of imagination beyond the incremental.

Equity & Justice
Feedback Labs
Examples and perspectives from the Feedback Labs community on designing feedback efforts so they can be a force for equity.

Fund for Shared Insight
A collection of articles and resources to help philanthropy and nonprofits advance a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion through high-quality feedback loops—including a set of tips for convening and session organizers.

Solutions Story Tracker: Human Rights
Solutions Journalism Network
From a searchable database of rigorous reporting on responses to social problems, stories that explore efforts to fight discrimination and protect human rights.

Equity Compass
Youth Equity + STEM
A tool that helps users adopt a social justice lens when developing and reflecting on their policies and practices.

Empathy in Science Communication
A Lifeology course created by Civic Science Fellow Reyhaneh Maktoufi (2020) that teaches science communicators how to empathize when talking about controversial science topics.

Communicating Science Across Political Divides
The Center for Media Engagement, University of Texas at Austin
A report that explores how scientists can communicate with citizens in ways that can bridge political divisions and enhance the public’s ability to engage thoughtfully with scientific issues.

Anti-Racism Resource Roundup
Informal Science
A collection of anti-racism resources from STEM learning, education, and science communication-related fields.


Future Texts
Alondra Nelson
Social Text

The introduction to a special issue on Afrofuturism, critiquing common narratives about race in the digital age by gathering works examining identity, technology, and the future “grounded in the histories of black communities.”

Inside My 90-Minute Visit with Octavia Butler
Tananarive Due

An overview of the work and influence of Octavia Butler, a founder of Afrofuturism, who pursued the question, “How can we make ourselves a more survivable species?”

Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of the Black Imagination
John Jennings and Reynaldo Anderson, curators
New York Public Library

Notes from an exhibition at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture on themes including Afrofuturism, Black speculative imagination, and Diasporan cultural production.

Thank you to many in the Civic Science Fellows and Rita Allen Foundation networks who have shared resources. Please send additional recommendations to