Letter of Support: BLM

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.

Take action.

Black lives matter.


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.

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:

Additionally, below find educational and academic resources :

Additional PSU resources:

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