Black and Indigenous Scholars in Mammalogy Award

Dear Friends and Colleagues –

I am writing today to tell you that the ASM Board of Directors has overwhelmingly endorsed a new award.  Last year, the ASM helped to sponsor Black Mammalogists Week (BMW), which proved to be very successful.  One effort by the leadership of BMW was to collect funds to establish a new award in the ASM to sponsor Black and Indigenous mammalogists.  Using a GoFundMe page, BMW collected over $21,000, and with our Human Diversity Committee chair, John Hanson, they crafted a proposal to transfer these funds to the ASM upon approval of this new award.

Yesterday the ASM Board overwhelmingly approved this proposal, so I am very pleased to announce the Black and Indigenous Scholars in Mammalogy Award, which we plan to offer annually through the ASM, starting this year!  This award will be managed by and through the ASM Human Diversity Committee, so soon you will find details on their website concerning award criteria and the process for applying to this award.

To make this award self-sustaining, we need to increase the corpus of this fund to $67,000.  Soon we will know how much is available through our BMW colleagues (they have continued to accept donations in the interim), but I want to note that we also have a challenge grant from a generous (but anonymous) ASM colleague.  This donation, for $13,000, will be deposited in the corpus for this award on a dollar-for-dollar basis as we receive matching contributions, up to $13K.  Importantly, this match is valid only through the end of this year’s annual meeting.  To ensure that we can integrate this full donation, I encourage you to consider a contribution to this fund (here) in any amount that matches your budget. 

I believe that I speak on behalf of the entire ASM Board in saying that we consider this fund to be “the next step” in our efforts to support and encourage greater human diversity in mammalogy, in the ASM, and indeed in STEM more generally.  I hope that you will support us in these efforts, and that you will consider working with us to develop additional venues for further broadening participation in this most exciting field.

Thanks to our friends and colleagues with Black Mammalogists Week! 

Very sincerely –

Douglas A. Kelt
President, American Society of Mammalogists