The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Committee in the Colorado State University Department of Mathematics presented the opening exhibit of Illustrating Diverse Experiences in STEM on March 28 in the Laurel Village Pavilion.
The event featured a cartoon series highlighting the challenges faced by underrepresented identities in STEM. Emily King, an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics, found the inspiration for this series from a similar project while she was at the University of Bremen in Germany.
Although the original project at the University of Bremen only discussed the micro-aggressions and discrimination women face in STEM, at CSU, King expanded on this concept to allow for conversations about gender identity, sexuality and race.
“The main goal of this project is to give people insight into the daily experiences of scientists of different identities from themselves,” said King. “If even only a few people see these cartoons and think, ‘Huh. I never thought about that.’ Then the project was successful.”
Local artists and researchers with similar identities collaborated on the artwork to ensure each single-frame panel highlighted impactful issues where both contributors could add their personal perspectives.
“This project involved the collaboration of a multitude of different groups who may not normally interact,” King said. “Just as it is important to learn about the experiences of people of different identities from yourself, I think it is also beneficial to hear perspectives from people who have different gifts and talents than you. I hope that artists and scientists continue to collaborate here at CSU.”
Following the opening of the exhibit, the cartoon series will stay on display in the Laurel Village Pavillion for the rest of the week.