NASA Nebraska Space Grant's
Commitment to Diversity
Diversity is one of the original objectives of the national NASA Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. Therefore, it is also a cornerstone in the projects and activities of the NASA Nebraska Space Grant.
We are committed to offering aerospace-related funding opportunities, programs, and professional development experiences to females, and underrepresented and underserved populations in Nebraska.
Our Commitment to Diversity aligns with NASA STEM's Strategic Goals:
NASA STEM Strategic Goal 2.0: Build a diverse future STEM workforce by engaging students in authentic learning experiences with NASA’s people, content and facilities.
NASA Strategic Goal 3.0: Attract diverse groups of students to STEM through learning opportunities that spark interest and provide connections to NASA’s mission and work.
NASA Nebraska Space Grant's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan
Our specific DEI Strategic Plan is under development and will be linked here when completed. We have created a DEI Framework as a guiding document as we develop the Strategic Plan, that can be viewed here.
In this effort to broaden participation of female and underrepresented students, we set our targets at 19.7% underrepresented minority student participants and 40% female participants.
Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government
On January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 13985 on advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities. President Biden followed this action with Executive Order 14035 on June 25, 2021. This order addresses diversity in federal fellowships and internships, and also expands the definition of underserved communities to include those in rural areas, first generation students and professionals, veterans, and others.
We are using these Executive Orders to inform our DEI efforts and to broaden the participation of Nebraskans in our programs.
Implicit Bias Training
Implicit Bias can impact reviewers selecting applications for funding. To help prevent implicit bias from emerging in our review process, NASA shared this video which is now required training for our statewide competition reviewers.
Link to the NASA Implicit Bias Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI_qDLIue0I
Some key characteristics of Implicit Bias:
Implicit biases are pervasive. Everyone possesses them, even people with avowed commitments to impartiality, such as judges.
Implicit and explicit biases are related but distinct mental constructs. They are not mutually exclusive and may even reinforce each other.
The implicit associations we hold do not necessarily align with our declared beliefs or even reflect stances we would explicitly endorse.
We generally tend to hold implicit biases that favor our own in-group, though research has shown that we can still hold implicit biases against our in-group.
Implicit biases are malleable. Our brains are incredibly complex, and the implicit associations that we have formed can be gradually unlearned.
Implicit biases often predict how we will behave more accurately than our conscious values.
NASA's Implicit Bias Training
Additional Links and Resources
NASA MissionSTEM: "NASA, like many Federal agencies, has obligations under civil rights laws intended to ensure equal opportunities in programs receiving Federal dollars. The MissionSTEM website is designed to assist programs and activities receiving NASA funding to meet their obligations under equal opportunity laws."
NASA Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP): "MUREP investments enhance the research, academic and technology capabilities of Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) through multiyear cooperative agreements. Awards assist faculty and students in research and provide authentic STEM engagement related to NASA missions."
NASA Strategy for STEM Engagement 2020-2023: This document "provides the context for STEM engagement within the NASA strategic plan, and describes the cross-cutting design principles foundational to this work. It serves as the framework for the Agency to provide immediate benefits to students, educators, and educational institutions, and to help build the next generation of explorers with the technical skills needed to continue pursuing NASA’s mission."