Today, academics and scientists all over the nation are recognizing the structural racism that exists throughout our institutions, through collective striking in the #ShutDownAcademia and #ShutDownSTEM movement. I write to join F&ES in this effort, to dedicate this day to the declaration that we must all focus on eradicating anti-Black practices and other racism in our own community, and in our systems of academia and science. A day is not nearly long enough, but let’s take the day to grieve, to learn, and to plan for actions, both personally and professionally, and to truly demonstrate that Black lives matter.
Any of you who participated in our panel and webinar last week heard from the members of our own community who spoke to the truth of how incidents of racism here at F&ES have deeply hurt them, and how systemic racism throughout our cultures of academia and science have persisted. White members of our community must learn about the systems of racism we perpetuate – and we all must engage together to change our School. Trainings, workshops, diversifying our community of students, staff, and faculty, and hosting conversations are part of the change, but clearly do not go far enough toward effecting real change. We must begin by recognizing and naming the white supremacy of our institutions and our own community, and work to become actively anti-racist in our daily lives.
There are many resources for learning about anti-racism, and just a few you may want to start with are below.
Links between racism and the environment
Please, take the time today to read, learn, create a plan for action, and support the Black members of our communities. In light of our participation in #shutdownacademia and #shutdownSTEM, all meetings should be canceled. Today’s staff meeting, which was scheduled for 10 a.m., will be moved to Tuesday, June 16, at 10 a.m.
Ingrid C. Burke
Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean