Allies are a safe zone.
This means that our primary purpose is to listen, and to provide you with a safe space to air your frustrations and talk through what you want to do next. It is a judgment-free zone. We will strongly recommend that you file a formal complaint, we can be confidential. At the AAS (and other astronomy conferences), look out for the official totally awesome Ally button. This button is a badge of trust, saying that the person has actively volunteered to help you. And if you ask for help, you know that someone wearing that button is coming to help you.

Allies are a resource.

We have Ally affiliates who are on the AAS contact people. They are not first response Allies, but are the first point of contact should you tell your Ally that you want to file an informal or formal complaint. The AAS Council take complaints and violations of the AAS anti-harassment policy extremely seriously and will do everything they can to help. Allies are here to help navigate you to the right people as quickly as possible.

Allies are a network.
Allies have been vetted and volunteered to do help you. We want to help. Whether you are at an astronomy meeting or need help from the astronomy community at large, Allies are a stepping stone full of people who are committed to making astronomy a safer, more equal place. We promise confidence, and will mobilize to get you what you need, whether that is just someone to tell you that it will be okay, or to help you remove yourself from a problematic situation.

Allies are a presence.

Allies are not the enforcers. We are not the ones who will be punishing repeat offenders. We don't proactively intervene. Allies are reactive. We come when you call us. If you see one of us at the meeting wearing a button, don’t hesitate to come up and ask us what we are about. Seeing us wear those buttons tells you not only that there is someone friendly around should you need us, but reminds people who might think about committing harassment that there are always people holding beacons of light to shine in the corners they are hoping to keep dark.

we are here to help.

contact us

(clicking this link, your email will only be seen by Heather Flewelling and Vicky Scowcroft)

What are the Astronomy Allies?