Towards a More Inclusive Astronomy (TaMIA) was started by Mallory Molina, with co-founders Angie Wolfgang, Alex Hagen, Lea Hagen, Danny Barringer, and Jonathan Jackson at Penn State in 2016. We began as a way to introduce discussions about equity and inclusion in our department, highlighting the importance of the experiences of those with marginalized identities. Our main goal is to support those who have felt pushback in life based on who they are, where they come from, what they believe in, or how they look, sound, speak, hear, think, move, feel, or understand the world. We want to bring these voices to the center of our conversations and allow those who want to share about their experiences to do so in a safe and supportive environment.
We are now looking to expand beyond our department to the astronomical community at large. For years astronomers have grown their understanding of science based on collaboration and communication with others, yet this has not always been applied to equity and inclusion groups across departments. We want to serve as a central hub for equity and inclusion groups, current and future, in different departments to discuss ideas, successful meeting plans, personal experiences, and helpful tips with one another. We do not claim to have all the answers. Our goal is to acknowledge this in ourselves, and create a place for us to grow in our understanding of each other.
We also want to support new equity and inclusion groups in different departments by providing materials, support, and access to discussion ideas. To find out more about this process, please see our page on starting your own group.