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IDEA in Action: The work continues

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By CRYSTAL HARDEN, EdD

CHAPEL HILL, NC (Feb. 20, 2024) — As Morehead prepares for this year’s Science for All Summit on February 28-29, we and the participants know that the Summit’s conclusion will mark the beginning of IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) in Action for us in 2024. We realize that IDEA in Action is an ongoing effort, with the Science for All Summit representing its culmination. 

But what is IDEA in Action? Even though we can examine its meaning through different lenses, we know that theoretically it means Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access in Action – our collective work moving forward. A critical goal and component of the Science for All Summit is to have the work (IDEA in STEM) progress throughout the year in our creative and innovative professional spaces whether it is corporations, nonprofits, K-12 schools, universities, colleges, and more. We hope to have this work visible in classrooms, training sessions, workshops, boardrooms, offices, and events. As a result of our efforts, we hope to have spaces of safety and well-being created for all of North Carolina’s citizens.  

A a group of people sit in the fulldome theater at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. They look up.
A a group of people sit in the fulldome theater at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center during the 2023 Science for All Summit. (Huth Photo)

To serve everyone in North Carolina, though, this work needs to be collaborative and inclusive of all perspectives and backgrounds. To create dynamic spaces of equity in STEM, we all must participate regardless of who we are. We are all needed for equity in STEM and its movement forward. We are all responsible for a part in creating healthy spaces of belonging and well-being for equity in STEM. As we approach this important gathering, the Science for All Summit is the representation of our hope and responsibility.  

I invite you to join us for the Science for All Summit this year and in future years – Please save the date for February 20-21, 2025. Registration for this year’s summit closes tomorrow, Wednesday, February 21, so if you still need to do so, please visit our website to register and to join our mailing list for future conference updates.

Crystal Harden, EdD, is the director of program and inclusion initiatives at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center and an adjunct professor at the UNC School of Education.