COLUMBUS, OH. — A group of women scientists in medical research and academics aptly named Academic Research Moms, or "ARM", decided to act in support of Black science and medical students by creating an ongoing fund jointly-managed by The HBCU Foundation and Meharry Medical College, that has already raised over $30,000 – earmarked to support graduate and postgraduate level HBCU (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) women in STEM (Science, Technology Engineering & Mathematics) studies.
What started out as a small group of friends and colleagues has grown into an international network of over 2,600 women from around the world who provide professional & emotional support to one another, present work, share information, and provide each other with advice and consolation. With the renewed focus on the Black Lives Matter movement and increasing visibility of systemic racism, conversations within the group turned to current issues, and the additional burdens faced by black women and mothers in STEM ﬁelds: a minority within a minority.
"We are grateful to The HBCU Foundation for offering us a place to establish these funds and for generously agreeing to expand the scope of their critical work supporting Black scholars to include post-undergraduate STEM trainees who are also mothers. Representation matters in the type of health-based research questions we choose, in the type of medical care that patients receive and in building mentorship for future generations," said a group spokesperson. "HBCUs have the most successful metric for producing Black doctors and scientists thus, by supporting medical and research trainee women through The HBCU Foundation we believe that more Black women will become leaders of research and medicine in our academic research institutions."
The Gofundme page for "The ARM Fund for Medical and Research Trainee Moms" can be found here, and donations are welcome.
"We decided it was time to act on our shared experiences and a member of our group took the initiative to draw on our power and numbers to ﬁnancially support Black science and medicine trainees with childcare. Collectively we are aware of how challenging it is to mother while in training, and our goal is to lift these women up during this challenging time."
On the signiﬁcance of the efforts of groups like Academic Research Moms, The HBCU Foundation’s CEO, Daniel Moss offered, "The rigors of post-undergraduate studies are already stressful enough for any student, however, coupled with the endless responsibilities and demands of parenthood and against the backdrop of a global health crisis, the path to completion of a post-undergrad degree for many of our Black mothers can seem doubly so. Our collaboration with Academic Research Moms and Meharry Medical College seeks to alleviate at least a portion of the heavy ﬁnancial burden many of our student-moms face and get some of our brightest minds to and through training. We’re very pleased to ﬁnd that more and more individuals and organizations are passionately following the lead of groups like ARM and are initiating similar giving and volunteer campaigns on behalf of our students. We’d love to hear from them and share their stories."
To learn more, visit: www.thehbcufoundation.org