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The African and African American Affinity Group (A5) is a UCAR Employee Resource Group that provides collective advocacy on organizational policies and support for Black employees, including African Americans, African peoples, and all who identify as members of African Diaspora. While being under the purview and aegis of NSF NCAR and UCAR, the A5 group maintains autonomy and independence for the benefit of its members and affiliates.

A collage of black staff

The A5 Mission

The primary mission of A5 is to ensure meaningful stakeholder input from individuals who identify as A5 at NSF NCAR and UCAR on organization-wide policy. Stakeholders include current NSF NCAR and UCAR staff as well as interns, associates, and affiliates of NSF NCAR and UCAR who identify as A5. This mission is achieved through formal discussion, policy notes, comments, and recommendations to UCAR Human Resources, the UCAR President’s Office, and the NSF NCAR Directorate. 

Secondly, the A5 group establishes and maintains a formal support network for NSF NCAR and UCAR employees (interns, term, casual, and full) who identify as A5. This is achieved by promoting internal mentoring, organizing social and networking events, and serving as a community and cultural resource for new staff.

In fulfilling its mission, A5 works towards the following goals:

  1. Provide direct and comprehensive support to Black, African, and African-American staff in NSF NCAR and UCAR
  2. Provide resources to help address issues, concerns, and policies with UCAR Operations, specifically as they relate to culture, education, training, professional development, and discrimination of, against, or towards Black staff and other people of color
  3. Cooperate with other organizations and groups within UCAR to build a truly inclusive organization where all employees can thrive and make contributions to continue the scientific and education legacy of UCAR and NSF NCAR
  4. Serve as a community resource for Black, African, and African-American visitors and participants in NSF NCAR and UCAR programs, trainings, and workshops

Participating in A5

Participation and membership is open to all NSF NCAR and UCAR employees (interns, term, casual, visitors, and full) who identify as A5 or are willing to support people who identify as A5. Additionally, people who work within or support the geoscience community outside of NSF NCAR and UCAR are eligible to participate as affiliate members.

Founder’s Statement

The need for A5 stems from decades of bigotry, injustice, and racism that contributes to the underrepresentation of members of the African Diaspora in all aspects of the Earth system sciences. Given the gravitas of these issues, the founding members of A5 engaged in copious amounts of internal debate as to whether there existed an obligation to formalize. After 18 months of discussion, reflection, and writing, and after closed discourse with staff of the UCAR Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion, A5 emerged with foundational documentation. Going forward, we recognize both the collective and personal challenges people of color face within the Earth system sciences. Thus, the A5 group is committed to providing support and advocacy for all of its members and affiliates within the organization and within the broader community.