A current conversation in US academic spaces and on #AcademicTwitter is the role that the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) has in STEM grad school admissions and the reasons why it acts as a barrier to access for a lot of folks, especially people of color, international students, and folks from disadvantaged backgrounds. As put by wokeSTEM, the GRE is “a deeply structured and institutionalized barrier for diversifying STEM”.
Support removing the GRE from graduate admissions (#GRExit)
The folks at wokeSTEM have released Part 1 of an episode on the GRE, where they dive into the research and details on the impact of the GRE. Follow the links to the research they cite...it's all open source!
Obviously getting rid of the GRE alone won't solve all educational equity and accessibility issues, but it will remove one specific costly, useless, and biased barrier.
Reach out to your departmental and university admissions committees to figure out what can be done in support of removing the GRE requirement.
Educate yourself and others on the history of black women in STEM. Black women have been engaged in STEM since the 1800s. The book Sisters in Science by Diann Jordan, which was highlighted in this great thread by Dr. K. Taylor, is a great history and includes conversations with contemporary black women in STEM. Consider picking up a copy for yourself and recommending it to your local library!
Speaking of institutionalized power, when was the last time you interrogated your own position of power? Or maybe you’ve been in need of resources?
Layla Saad (@laylafsaad on Instagram) has published Me and White Supremacy, a workbook based on her #MeAndWhiteSupremacy Instagram challenge that is designed for people with white privilege to understand, challenge, dismantle, and learn from their internalized white supremacy. You can sign up to get the workbook emailed to you - It's free, but donate to support if you can.
The author is currently running a paid seminar on factors that prevent white women from being allies, so consider hiring Layla for speaking