NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine issued a policy statement [https://missionstem.nasa.gov/docs/Bridenstine_Title_IX_Policy_Statement_TAGGED.pdf] today reaffirming the agency’s commitment to equal opportunity among the many educational and research institutions nationwide that receive NASA grant funding or that participate in agency-conducted programs.
This policy statement reflects a core component of the NASA mission and values that touch every state in the nation, as the agency currently awards more than $1 billion annually in grants to some 750 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs at universities and colleges, science centers and museums, research institutes, and other organizations.
Under federal civil rights laws, recipient institutions of NASA grant awards and cooperative agreements must ensure equal opportunity to their program beneficiaries. These beneficiaries include, but are not limited to, STEM faculty, staff and students and visitors to science museums and centers.
As the Administrator states:
“At the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), we are committed to achieving our missions and realizing our vision to discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity. To accomplish our missions and vision, we invest in programs and activities involving non-Federal institutions. As authorized by Federal laws and NASA civil rights regulations and policies, we are also fully committed to helping these partner organizations – that participate in NASA-conducted programs or receive funding from NASA – adhere to all applicable civil rights authorities, and refrain from discrimination on the bases of race, color, and national origin, sex (including sexual harassment), disability, and age.”
This is an especially timely statement of NASA’s commitment to equal opportunity as we witness, in many professions across the country, the impact of harassment on individuals, institutions and entire industries.
At NASA, we understand that diversity and inclusion drive innovation and mission success. The barriers created by harassment can have a negative impact on mission-critical work and the development of our nation’s current and future STEM talent pipeline. For this reason, and because it’s right, NASA is dedicated working with our grantees to prevent and effectively address harassment.
For more information on NASA’s efforts to ensure equal opportunity and promote diversity and inclusion among the agency’s grant recipient institutions, visit NASA’s MissionSTEM Web site at http://missionstem.nasa.gov/index.html and https://missionstem.nasa.gov/compliance-requirements-nasa-grantees.html.