During its early development, the Henry Luce Foundation was a proud supporter of the EDGE Program and its efforts to provide comprehensive mentoring for women—including underrepresented minorities—who were pursuing careers in mathematics. The program continues to grow, providing more extensive resources to women graduate students and building a network of accomplished alumnae including Dr. Erica Graham, Assistant Professor at Bryn Mawr College, who recently gave a talk discussing the prevalence of white supremacy in the field of mathematics.
Dr. Erica Graham is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Bryn Mawr College, alum of the EDGE Program, and a Co-Creator of the project Mathematically Gifted & Black. On January 6, 2021, Graham delivered a talk at the Joint Mathematics Meeting, the largest meeting of math professionals in the world. In her talk, entitled “Anti-racism in mathematics: Who, what, where, why, and how?”, Dr. Graham explores the ways in which white supremacy is woven into the structures of mathematics, and discusses the work essential to creating positive change within the field. As she writes in her abstract, “[t]he academic discipline of mathematics—alongside many institutions of higher education—has also reached a point of reckoning in its history of institutionalizing racism. We must acknowledge the necessity, not choice, of persistent and active anti-racist work in realizing transformative, long-lasting change.” The recording for the talk is now publicly available and is a resource for mathematicians and STEM practitioners within academia, industry, and government.
The EDGE Program, a project of the EDGE Foundation, prepares women who are about to enter their first or second year in graduate school through rigorous coursework, collaborative problem sessions, and tiered mentoring. After participating in the EDGE Summer Program in 2006, Dr. Graham returned to the program as a graduate student mentor in 2010, and as a faculty facilitator in 2019 and 2020. The EDGE Foundation strengthens the ability of women to pursue careers in mathematical research and education and places more women in visible leadership roles in the mathematics community. For more information about EDGE, contact Ami Radunskaya at firstname.lastname@example.org.