ReclaimingSTEM: A healing-centered counterspace model for inclusive science communication and policy training
Date of Original Version
The dominant U.S. cultural norms shape science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and in turn, these norms shape science communication, further perpetuating oppressive systems. Despite being a core scientific skill, science communication research and practice lack inclusive training spaces that center marginalized identities. We address this need with a healing-centered counterspace grounded in the key principles of inclusive science communication: ReclaimingSTEM. ReclaimingSTEM is a science communication and science policy training space that centers the experiences, needs, and wants of people from marginalized communities. ReclaimingSTEM problematizes and expands the definitions of “what counts” as science communication. We organize ReclaimingSTEM with intentionality, emphasizing inclusion at every part of the process. Since initiating in 2018, five ReclaimingSTEM workshops have been held in multiple locations, both in-person and virtually, reaching more than 700 participants from all over the globe. In this paper, we share our model for ReclaimingSTEM, reflections of workshop participants and speakers, barriers faced during organizing, and recommendations for creating truly inclusive practices in science communication spaces.
Publication Title, e.g., Journal
Frontiers in Communication
Valdez-Ward, Evelyn, Robert N. Ulrich, Nic Bennett, Linh Anh Cat, Tamara Marcus, Sunshine Menezes, Allison H. Mattheis, and Kathleen K. Treseder. "ReclaimingSTEM: A healing-centered counterspace model for inclusive science communication and policy training." Frontiers in Communication 8, (2023). doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2023.1026383.