About Banneker & Aztlán


Why Banneker?
The program and its name draw on the pioneering inspiration of Benjamin Banneker, a surveyor best known for accompanying Andrew Ellicott in his original land survey of what would become Washington, D.C. Banneker was also an accomplished astronomer, which drove the success of his series of almanacs. As a forefather to Black American contributions to science, his eminence has earned him the distinction of being the first professional astronomer in America.

Why Aztlán?
Aztlán is the legendary ancestral home of the Aztec peoples. The historical and cultural significance of the name led to its adoption by indigenous and Chicano civil rights movements in the United States. The Aztlán Institute honors this tradition by promoting the advancement of AZTronomy among LAtinx and Native students through its with Banneker.

Who should apply?
We target undergraduate juniors from backgrounds historically marginalized from academia and the astronomical sciences in particular. While there is a preference for students of color, we welcome applications from students of all backgrounds. Our application review process considers historical injustices and the tendency for traditional application practices to reproduce racial disparities in academia.