Celebrating the Achievements of Black Microbiologists
ASM celebrates the achievements and contributions of Black microbiologists to the field of microbiology. We believe that the various perspectives, experiences and backgrounds of our diverse membership enhance innovation, broaden the research agenda and further scientific advancement. Explore our curated resources, including interviews with scientists, videos and digital exhibitions.
Committing to Inclusive Diversity with Equity, Access and Accountability (IDEAA)
ASM recognizes that the Black community continues to face large obstacles related to discrimination and racism across the globe. We are committed to facilitating open dialogue about these issues and taking action to eradicate remaining barriers in the field of microbiology. We encourage staff, volunteer leadership and our membership to take time to educate themselves on the realities of racism and discrimination. In 2020, ASM joined #ShutDownSTEM to raise awareness about racism in STEM; and, as part of this ongoing committment, we participate in an annual Day of Understanding committing time to focus on staff development around DEI topics, both conceptually and in practice.
We also acknowledge that we must continue to push for increased Black leadership within ASM and support mentorship opportunities among Black students and early career researchers.
We invite you to review the IDEAA Strategy, which outlines our plans to address gaps in diverse representation, equitable contribution and accessible opportunities for the broader microbial sciences community.
We prioritize the creation of robust content that celebrates DEI achievements in the microbial sciences, elevates the voices of scientists from historically underrepresented groups and identifies and engages with the work that still needs to be done to ensure the field of microbiology promotes IDEAA.
In early STEM education, inequity and disparities persist in the United States. These disparities can be addressed in K-12 learning environments via the use of culturally responsive pedagogy.
As ASM looks toward celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2024, shared findings from the oral and written records are helping to identify gaps, progress and successes in past and current DEI efforts.
The existence of ‘hidden figures’ in STEM is a symptom of unjust systems. Work toward equitable and inclusive research spaces in the future must be informed by the climate in which Black microbiologists persist, past and present.
Spotlights on Black Microbiologists
Spotlight profile articles highlight the work and experiences of microbiologists from a diversity of backgrounds and identities in science.
Dr. Aisha Burton is a Black woman microbiologist on a mission. Burton shares how she is determined to create a path for the new generation of historically underrepresented groups in the microbial sciences interested in pursuing a career in research and education.
Dr. Kawanda Foster shares how the lack of diversity in STEM drove her away from science, but the skill of discernment helped her carve a rewarding career and develop an indispensable support system.
Featured Journals Content
The ASM Journals Committee is committed to promoting the work of Black microbiologists and the issues that impact the Black community. Explore a compilation of peer-reviewed papers on advancing equity in the microbial sciences, the impacts of racial health disparities and more from ASM Journals.
Kishana Taylor works in the field of virology. In this mSphere of Influence article, she reflects on the personal impact of “Racial health disparities and COVID-19 – caution and context” by Merlin Chowkwanyun and Adolph L. Reed, Jr.
National Summer Undergraduate Research Project (NSURP): A Virtual Research Experience to Deliver REAL (Retention, Equity, Access, and Life-Changing) Outcomes for Underrepresented Minorities in STEM:
Summer undergraduate research experiences (SUREs) provide important onramps to secondary STEM graduate degrees and subsequent careers. Studies demonstrate that these experiences increase the likelihood of students advancing to a graduate-level STEM degree, positively impact STEM identity and confidence, and imbue a sense of professional belonging.
Dr. William Hinton was a "brilliant scientist and educator" along with being a well-known clinical microbiologist. In 1997, ASM established the ASM William A. Hinton Award to commemorate his contributions to the field and to recognize the outstanding contributions toward fostering the research training of scientists from historically underrepresented groups and increasing diversity in microbiology.
Videos and Podcasts
Dr. Michael Johnson participated in the mSystems Thinking webinar series last year, where he highlighted the National Summer Undergraduate Research Project (NSURP) and its critical importance to undergraduates, filling a need that was previously unidentified.
Watch the February 2022 CPHM Virtual Journal Club session. In this webinar, subject-matter experts discuss 2 thought-provoking articles from ASM’s Journal of Clinical Microbiology® (JCM), as well as explore the stories and contributions of Black women clinical microbiologists in historical and contemporary practice. This webinar is free to members and non-members. ASM login is required.
We were a gold sponsor of #BlackinMicrobiology week 2021, coordinated by the Black Microbiologists Association, a grassroots organization that highlights accomplishments of Black microbiologists from around the world and fosters a supportive community for their work.