We want our community to be welcoming. TMC organizers have been intentional about that goal every year. We expand our efforts with each conference, but there is still more to do. We've considered whether everyone who finds us online feels invited to speak up. We've considered how to include math teachers from different regions. We've considered how to support introverts and people who are shy. We've considered how to incorporate various grade bands and roles in education. Now it's time to consider race.
Last year Grace Chen, Brette Garner, and Sammie Marshall ran a morning session titled "What is the relationship between the Standards for Mathematical Practice & equity?" and Grace gave a powerful keynote titled "The Politics(?) of Mathematics Teaching." Both sparked conversations that started at TMC and continued into the rest of the summer and well into the following year. You can follow parts of that conversation on twitter using #TMCequity and in the blog post archive. As part of the conversation, they discussed the whiteness of TMC. That conversation inspired a flex session on the last day of the conference to look at the statistics of who is at TMC.
We engaged and recorded the flex session conversation in a google doc.But also: math is a p “white” space. Math Ts are whiter than all Ts, and (I predict) MTBoS Ts are whiter than Math Ts #TMCEquity #TMCsowhite— Brette (@brettegarner) July 29, 2017
Out of that discussion we decided that TMC needed a mission statement to help us make decisions about which approaches would best align with TMC's values. While some people worked on that, many other people worked on writing their thoughts out in blog form (see below). As things do, this conversation fell out of focus as the school year demanded more and more of people's attention. I would love for you to bring your attention back to thoughts on diversity at TMC. I invite you to have conversations on twitter (feel free to use #TMCequity), but even better, to have conversations in person. If you'll be attending TMC this month take some time to look around the room. Who is represented? Who is welcomed? Who is missing? And why does that matter?
Michael Pershan and Marian Dingle