The AOS introduces Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Amani Edwards

I am writing to share some exciting news: Amani Edwards joined the American Ornithological Society (AOS) staff team on 1 April as our new Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Coordinator!

Amani Edwards
AOS Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator

One of the AOS’s strategic goals is to foster an inclusive ornithological community. Last year, the AOS announced two major initiatives to advance this goal: a partnership with two other ornithological societies to better understand the culture in ornithology and create affinity groups to support people with different identities within our community, and a commitment to change all English-language names of birds within our jurisdiction that are named directly after people. The AOS developed a new D&I Coordinator staff position with a dual role: to support the creation of these affinity groups, and to support a pilot effort to change a subset of English bird names. This is a full-time position with initial funding for 1.5 years.

Amani Edwards brings an incredible breadth of experience to the D&I Coordinator role. She has served in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) space for more than ten years. During this time, she has worked to develop and support employee resource groups (similar to our ornithological affinity groups), served on a committee to address changing names of buildings on a university campus, and worked with volunteers through her experience at a legal association. More broadly, she has helped professionals across different sectors understand their DEI needs and create strategies to build more inclusive environments. Amani has facilitated DEI workshops, focusing on understanding and mitigating bias and discrimination. She has also worked with educators to create bias-free classrooms and develop successful and engaging curricula. She has experience in higher education, healthcare, the legal field, Fortune 500 organizations, and nonprofit organizations. 

Amani completed her Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy from the University at Albany, SUNY in April 2021, with a specialty in public management. She has a bachelor’s degree from Beloit College in Modern Languages and Literature, with a language focus in Mandarin and Russian.

The AOS’s new D&I Coordinator position will play a key role both in creating spaces and communities for historically marginalized groups within ornithology, and in helping to build bridges between ornithologists with different backgrounds, identities, and perspectives. Amani’s expertise and thoughtful approach to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice make her a fantastic addition to the AOS team.

Welcome, Amani!

Judith Scarl, AOS Executive Director


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