Practice Brief 74 -- Topics: Equity Implementation Practices

Designing and participating in community and citizen science efforts to support equity and justice

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Why it Matters to You
  • Project teams and facilitators should practice in ongoing reflection about their positionalities in the community as they center cultural diversities of STEM knowledge and practices in their efforts.
  • Educators should work to center the worldviews, knowledge, and interests of the communities they serve in community and citizen science efforts.
  • Organizational Leadership should support the design and redesign of citizen science projects to authentically give voice to the communities their efforts impact the most.

What Is The Issue?

Community and citizen science can mobilize diverse groups of stakeholders in collaboratively understanding and improving situations in the natural and built world. It is often framed as an opportunity for “nonscientists” to participate in the advancement of science, especially when organizers seek to engage communities underrepresented in STEM, such as People of Color, people of lower socioeconomic status, rural communities, and womxn. Projects promoting equity and justice in STEM must engage these communities not only in data collection, but as full collaborative partners.



Reflection Questions

  • Are community members active participants in the design of science projects, rather than “targets” of efforts? This can improve the efforts, support multiple ways of knowing within a project, broaden participation, and support deeper learning.
  • For projects already underway, how can you expand it to include additional modes of participation and collaboration?

Things to Consider

Attending to Equity

Recommended Actions You Can Take


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Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.