SACNAS Response to Thirty Meter Telescope

SACNAS is honored to bring 2019 SACNAS – The National Diversity in STEM Conference to Hawaii — America’s most ethnically diverse state. The islands are a living legacy to indigenous knowledge and a wellspring of STEM research.

SACNAS is aware of the division and controversy surrounding the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on the summit of Mauna Kea, the most sacred spot in the Hawaiian archipelago. We believe that culture and community are foundational and essential to drive STEM innovation. Therefore, SACNAS underscores our commitment to inclusion in STEM by creating spaces at our national conference that will include productive and constructive conversations about Mauna Kea, TMT, and indigenous rights.

With the history of colonial development on indigenous lands, the way forward requires true partnerships where indigenous voices and knowledge are valued and incorporated throughout the decision-making process. Indigenous people and people of color from scientists to business leaders to policy makers must be integrated into all aspects of STEM.

Accordingly, SACNAS exemplifies how to create truly inclusive spaces; providing platforms that incorporate native voices, celebrate the knowledge of indigenous communities, and the inclusion of indigenous rights to advance STEM research. For example, at 2019 SACNAS — The National Diversity in STEM Conference in Honolulu we will feature special tracks on indigenous science and climate change as a way to learn from Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander scientists about how the changing environment is affecting indigenous land and communities first and worst.

As an organization, SACNAS works to achieve true diversity in STEM so that all of STEM, including positions of leadership, reflect the current population demographics. Excellence in science can only be achieved when it is informed by the perspectives of and decided by a diverse group of stakeholders that include indigenous people and people of color.


For over 46 years, SACNAS has served as an inclusive organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanics & Native Americans, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership within STEM.

Today, the organization serves a growing community of over 20,000 supporters, 6,000+ members, and 115+ student and professional chapters throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. SACNAS influences the STEM diversity movement through STEM outreach & advocacy, promotion of STEM leaders, and The SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference.  Learn more about SACNAS at, Facebook, or Twitter.


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