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Amplify Black Voices in Optics

Amplify Black Voices in Optics

Meet Black Scientists

Meet scientists and engineers from all over the world who represent Black achievement in science at every stage of their careers.

There are scientists and engineers who exemplify Black achievement in science from all over the world. However, inequalities in access and opportunities as well as a disparity in recognition and visibility has resulted in a persistent underrepresentation of Black scientists. At Optica, we have recommitted ourselves working to change this, particularly for our optics and photonics community.

Based on the work of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Rapid Acton Committee, established by the Board of Directors, the following programs were established with the goal of supporting existing, and increasing the number of black scientists and engineers within the optics and photonics community. We encourage you to explore and share these opportunities, as well as get involved with other Optica programs and activities.

Amplify Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to 10 Black undergraduate or graduate level students. In addition to the funding, recipients gain access to our global network of mentors and the supporting companies.

Amplify Publishing Grant

Publication charges can be a barrier to the participation of underrepresented communities in STEM journals. Reducing such barriers may improve diversity and address inequalities in existing society and academic systems.This grant is designed to reduce a paywall barrier by providing a one-time opportunity for authors who self-identify as Black to benefit from publication in an Optica Publishing Group Open Access journal.

Learn More >> Find out more about the eligibility for this program and apply for the grant when you submit a paper to one of Optica Publishing Groups Open Access journals (Biomedical Optics Express, Optica, Optical Materials Express, Optics Continuum (formerly OSA Continuum), or Optics Express

Amplify Optics Immersion Program

Experiencing a sense of belonging can engage students and spark interest in our field. To accomplish this, this program is designed to highlight the research, technology and careers in optics and photonics for Black undergraduate and master's students. Co-located with Optica's annual meeting Frontiers in Optics (FiO), participating students would attend a dedicated program and participate in FiO technical and professional development sessions and student activities.

Amplify Partners

Optica is committed to enhancing our partnership with the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP) by offering complimentary office and meeting spaces, alongside essential professional services. This collaboration underscores our dedication to supporting Black physicists and promoting diversity in the scientific arena, ensuring vital resources and a supportive environment for groundbreaking research and community engagement.

Other Optica Resources and Information

  • Read about Optics In Africa – This JOSA B Feature Issue on Optics in Africa captures some of the exciting optical research from across the continent in 51 research reports, covering both fundamental and applied topics. The issue is supplemented by invited review articles that offer perspectives on the historical development of key research fields, from early advances in lasers to present-day progress in photonic materials.
  • Listen to the Exploring Diversity & Visibility Podcast – This podcast explores diversity, visibility, and intersectionality through the unique perspectives of three Optica members – Timothy Imogore, Klaus Jaeger, and Sile Nic Chormaic. They seek to reinforce the importance of inclusion as part of their career journey and their optics community.
  • Student Chapter – establish a student chapter on your campus to access all the benefits provided and increase networking opportunities with your peers.
  • Traveling Lecturer – Optica has extended the Traveling Lecturer benefits beyond our student chapters to all HBCUs and other Minority Serving Institutes interested in hosting a speaker. Those interested in becoming a Traveling Lecturer can learn how to do so here.
  • Get Involved – from membership to volunteer opportunities explore ways to engage with Optica, give back to the community and build relationships that can last throughout your career.
  • Optica Foundation – discover grants, scholarships, prizes and other professional development opportunities offered by the Optica Foundation.

Other Organizations

  • National Society of Black Engineers – nonprofit organization founded to increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.
  • National Society for Black Physicists – nonprofit with the mission to promote the professional well-being of African American physicists and physics students within the international scientific community and within society at large.
  • #BlackInPhysics – a social media campaign that shares articles and information on events and activities that are dedicated to celebrating Black physicists and our contributions to the scientific community, but also to reveal a more complete picture of what a physicist looks like.


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