We are saddened and anguished by the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the countless other Black lives that were taken before them. We join in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and condemn the injustices and police brutality that continue to result in the death of Black lives at the hands of the very community that is tasked with serving and protecting them.
Moving forward, we must condemn not just these individual violent acts, but also the broader systemic racism that pervades our society and the scientific community. We cannot be silent in the face of this systemic racism that excludes, silences, and marginalizes people of color in our laboratories, classrooms, departments, and institutions.
These recent events have emboldened our resolve to increase diversity, foster an inclusive and equitable climate, and support pipeline and outreach programs in our department. We understand that consequential change can come only from empathetically listening to the experiences of members of our community, reflecting on what we learn, identifying disparities, and enacting meaningful change.
As a first step, the Committee on Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity and the Graduate Student Class Representatives will host two forums. The first of these will take place at 3:30pm this coming Thursday, June 11, 2020 and will be focused on listening and reflecting on shared experiences of systemic racism. The second forum will take place at 3:30pm the following Thursday, June 18, 2020 and will be focused on a discussion of actions we can take as a department to address systemic racism. In addition, the Graduate Student Representatives have created a Google Doc listing resources and charitable organizations that is continually being updated. In the weeks following these forums, we will devise a plan of concrete actions to be taken within our department with the aim of building diversity and supporting marginalized groups at all levels, and transforming the next generation of scientific and academic leaders.
The Committee on Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity, on behalf of the Students, Faculty, and Staff
The Department of Chemistry