Antiracism Advocacy: Past and Present


Evidence-based advocacy and how you can get involved

Since our founding in 1971, AWIS has had roots in STEM social justice advocacy. Inspired by the Women’s Rights and Civil Rights Movements and frustrated by injustice in their own careers, thirty-five women established AWIS to create equitable careers for all women in science. 

AWIS History in Advocacy
AWIS took on radical risk in the 1960s and 1970s to stand up for gender and racial equity in an era of political and social upheaval as part of a numeric minority who changed the landscape.

In 1975, AWIS partnered with the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) to win a lawsuit against the Office of Civil Rights for discrimination in higher education on the basis of sex and race.

Throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s, AWIS centered its policy work on equal pay, affirmative action, employment and educational discrimination, and civil rights and included support for the passage of the Civil Rights Restoration Act (1982) and the Civil Rights Act (1990). During this period, AWIS also paved the way for the creation of the committee on equal opportunities in science and technology at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the NSF Visiting Professorships for Women.

In the current social and political context, we again are at a pivotal moment of change.

Recent Examples of AWIS Advocacy

More recently, AWIS has focused on evidence-based advocacy at the intersections of gender and racial equity in innovation, science research funding, anti-harassment policy, employment and educational opportunity, pay, and member civil engagement. Here is just a small sampling of this work:

1. Legislation AWIS has backed and given research-based input on

2. Advocacy Letters

3. Coalitions

  • Invent Together to increase diversity of innovators in the American economy

4. Testimony and Presentations

5. Member Civil Engagement

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© 2022 Association for Women in Science. All Rights Reserved.

© 2022 Association for Women in Science. All Rights Reserved.