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May 8th, 2023
American Association of Geographers Recognized by EDGE Geospatial

AAG Receives Organizational Award for Diversity and Equity Work in Geospatial Field

The American Association of Geographers has been given the Professional Organization Award in the first annual EDGE Geospatial Awards.

EDGE Geospatial was founded to “build a diversity, equity, and inclusion-focused network within the geospatial community that increases the exposure, opportunities, and advancement of individuals and companies of ethnically diverse backgrounds.” EDGE provides a job board, community board for geospatial professionals, events and community outreach.

“AAG is a significant partner in finding new ways to create a more representative, just and equitable geospatial industry,” said Keith Searles, EDGE Founder. “Through their annual meeting, reports and guides, initiatives, and many collaborations all year, AAG has truly shown up to support the vision for transformative action to extend and deepen representation in our field.

AAG President Marilyn Raphael said, “This recognition by EDGE is all the more meaningful as we see a trend toward more geographers entering degree programs from diverse backgrounds. Organizations like EDGE are instrumental in assuring strong career paths and networks for these geographers.”

The new Professional Organization Award recognizes AAG’s efforts to prioritize and follow through on their commitment, through its Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion plan; its educational and professional programming; such as the ALIGNED project, the Enhancing Departments and Graduate Education (EDGE) in Geography initiative, and the Diversity Ambassadors program as well as past efforts that generated resources (e.g., a few books from the EDGE project) and advanced conversations on these opportunities (e.g., during sessions at our Annual Meeting) in addition to Rapid Response programs such as the $500,000 COVID Rapid Response two-year Bridging the Digital Divide program, with significant funding from Esri, which directly addressed educational obstacles and opportunities for students in historically underserved communities at the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In addition to the JEDI plan and programming, AAG has supported or conducted research on equity outcomes in geography, notably the State of Geography report; as well as tracking and promoting geography programs at Minority Serving Institutions through its Guide to Geography Programs. AAG has published articles highlighting equity in its regular column for ArcNews and celebrated the specific accomplishments of community colleges in leveling the playing field for many young geographers.

“It Is an honor to be recognized by EDGE,” said Gary Langham, executive director of AAG. “One of the best measures of the relevance and success of our work is recognition by peer groups that foreground social and racial justice, as EDGE does. Keith Searles and his team are valued colleagues on the path to a more just and diverse geography discipline.”

AAG Community Manager Emily Fekete accepted the award in a ceremony on April 28 at EDGE’s headquarters in Tampa, Florida.

For more information, contact Lisa Schamess 202.234.1450, ext 1164 or [email protected]