For the past 10 months, Impression 5 workgroups have been moving forward a number of social justice audits and initiatives. We are excited to provide an update on our work.


In May of 2021, Impression 5 staff members participated in an anti-racism training led by Justice Leaders Collaborative

We are currently working on implementing hiring practices that will include interview questions about racial justice in STEM learning environments to assure that we hire candidates that already have an understanding of the importance and need of social justice work.

We are evaluating our onboarding process for new staff. Our new process will include anti-racism training, as well as including new staff into social justice workgroups.

Impression 5 committed to donating 15% of our 2020-21 book sales and 5% of revenue generated from the 2021 Capital City River Run to a Black-owned or Black community-serving organization in the Lansing area. This amount totaled $2,319, which our team chose to donate to the Firecracker Foundation.

We have updated our science gift store with a selection of books that feature the stories of Black and underrepresented people and scientists.

In the summer of 2021, we conducted an audit of the entire science center to identify gaps in inclusivity. As a result, we have begun the following projects with the goal of achieving them in 2022.

We are working with Muralmatics, who will facilitate a school-break mural project for 10-12 middle school and/or high school students.

We will create an exhibit distributed throughout the science center that will focus on scientists from around the world and their research in a variety of scientific disciplines.

We are working to create partnerships with local Native American cultural groups to host an event day that highlights Indigenous technologies and knowledge.

We broadly conducted evaluations and research to understand and identify harmful practices within the organization, as well as untapped opportunities to connect with the full spectrum of our community. This includes research into different models of fundraising that are more inclusive and empowering to those served; actively seeking new, meaningful reciprocal partnerships with underrepresented organizations; and creating space within our system for new voices and collaborations.

We have expanded access to our membership program by promoting membership scholarships. We have also simplified the scholarship application process by including it on our existing membership form. We are in the process of designing a more inclusive membership program for the future. 

We are currently conducting our first audit of our education program scholarships to gain a better understanding of how families currently experience the registration process. With the goal of making this process more streamlined and accessible, our goal is to have a new strategy in place by Winter L.A.B.S. 2022.

We are carefully reviewing all educational programs, workshops, and experiences through a socially and racially conscious lens. Through this process, we plan to make changes to teaching guides and training to ensure educational opportunities and experiences are inclusive, supportive, and just. Our goal is to prioritize and grow community and school partnerships to ensure that hands-on STEM education is accessible to communities that are typically underserved in STEM. In doing this, we hope to extend our mission’s reach beyond our downtown Lansing location to assure that we exist as a safe and educational space for Black and underserved people within our shared Greater Lansing community. 

We are in the process of reviewing all of our current contracts and vendors, including an audit of our partners’ mission and values through a visit to each of their business websites. Through this process we hope to identify vendors that we want to continue to work with and ones that we may want to explore moving away from to ensure we are working with companies that share our values. This audit will most likely include over 500 vendors and will take several months to complete. Concurrently, we are gathering resources and knowledge of businesses that are owned and operated by Black and brown people. We will make an intentional effort to work with these companies in the future.