Thus, we are currently in discussions with the American Society of Mammalogists to establish the Black Mammalogists Week BIPOC Scholars Award. We envision that this award will be available to Black and Indigenous scholars of all career levels who seek to apply for funds to further their careers related to mammals and wildlife conservation. For BIPOC scholars, systemic racism and its socioeconomic impacts have further exacerbated the already difficult tasks of paying for field supplies, conference fees, publication fees, travel to conferences and the field, internships, and other costs that contribute to success in mammalogy, wildlife conservation, and related fields. This award will offset those costs for eligible chosen applicants, and will be administered twice a year to align with varied field work and school-year schedules.
In order to sustain this award over time, we need to reach an endowment of $60,000 (which assumes a 5% return on investment). Our goal is to use the momentum and enthusiasm behind Black Mammalogists Week to reach our endowment goal, and create a lasting legacy that can have tangible impact on addressing systemic racism faced by Black and Indigenous scholars in mammalogy and wildlife conservation. Time and again, we have seen that diversity enriches the scientific community, and leads to more effective and lasting conservation outcomes.
In the event that this specific award is not established, all funds will go directly toward diversity, equity, and inclusion scholarships and awards already administered by the American Society of Mammalogists, that aim toward achieving similar goals.
Thank you for all of your support and enthusiasm and for working with us toward this lasting impact!
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