Dear CIDD community:
On May 25th, 2020 George Floyd was murdered by a police officer.
This is another case of systemic discrimination and violence against the Black community. In the face of such grievous injustice, the Black community and its allies are refusing to be powerless and are in the streets demanding justice. Historically, police officers who have committed similar crimes have escaped justice, but due to the bravery of protestors, the police officers responsible have been taken into custody. Murders like those of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and even in our local community, Osaze Osagie make clear what Black Americans have known since our founding: we exist in an oppressive and unjust system. We must no longer be passive.
As the CGSA board, we completely support the protests and all actions taken in fighting racism. Further, we acknowledge that academia is not free from the systemic racism that is ingrained in our society. Within our own community, there have been incidents where concerns raised by Black graduate students have not been addressed. As graduate students, we must act, even when the university does not. We must first listen and amplify the concerns of our Black colleagues. Most importantly, we must collectively stand up against people who exclude our Black colleagues and do not respect them as valuable members of our community. Black students must be given the resources and respect to thrive in academia – we emphasize that admittance is performative without retention. We, as early-career scientists, may feel powerless in academia, but we are not. We must be unified and vigilant in the fight against racism.
As the CGSA board, we will focus specifically on equity in our programming, recruitment and retention efforts going forward. We will be reaching out to the community for feedback, please look for a separate email soon. We urge you to take action – additional resources can be found below.
Black lives matter.
The CGSA BOARD
Emily Howerton, Co-President
Alexandre Blake, Co-President
Allyson Ray, Vice President
Ellie Mainou, Secretary
Hannah Greenberg Tiffin, Synopsis coordinator
Damie Pak, Treasurer
Fhallon Ware-Gilmore, Webmaster
Zeinab Elmasri, Social chair
Resources for action
First, you can support the protest by donating to bail-funds across the country
Second, donate to organizations that support Black communities.
- Black Lives Matter
- Organizations to support black communities
- Ways to support anti-racism and anti-discrimination
Third, contact our legislators who will reform the police and propose laws to make law enforcement face consequences for their actions. Vote for politicians with progressive laws that will help the black community. VOTE IN NOVEMBER.
Finally, this action will not fix police brutality, but we can still ensure that our academic communities are diverse. Donate to organizations that help to give opportunities to young Black students to excel in fields where they are underrepresented. As many of us are in professional societies, support the Black scholars.
A few examples:
- Black Girls who STEM
- National Association of Mathematicians (NAM)
- Black Ecologists of ESA
Additionally, below find educational and academic resources :
- AAAS #ShutDownSTEM – Wednesday, June 10, 2020
- Searching Twitter hashtags including #BlackLivesMatter, #BlackAFinSTEM, #ShutDownAcademia, #BlackintheIvory, #AmplifyBlackSTEM
- Cornell University – Resources for Engaging in Conversations About Race and Anti-Racism
- “Diverse Faculty Retention Tips” Checklist
- Inside Higher Ed – Diversity
- Anti-racism resources for white people
- JSTOR – Institutionalized Racism, a syllabus
- Ibram X. Kendi on How to be an Antiracist (Video)
- Justice in June, a daily reading list for a month – split by those who can devote 10, 25, 45+ minutes a day to education
- Black History Month Library
Additional PSU resources: