A LETTER TO THE COMMUNITY FROM THE SCAS BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

The Southern California Academy of Sciences stands in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter. We affirm our commitment to encouraging and providing a space for diverse voices in science. The Board of Directors is saddened and outraged by the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others before them (Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and so many others). We also recognize that the systemic racism in our institutions and systems have silenced Black voices and committed atrocities against Black people for centuries. We will no longer be part of the silence, and we speak out today in our support for Black lives and our confirmed advocacy to encourage and promote diverse perspectives in science.

The sciences have a sordid past of lying to, manipulating, and profiting off of Black people. The sciences also have a long history of excluding Black and Brown people from researching, learning, and participating in science. Many of these prejudicial practices actively continue today.

It is past time to end the systemic injustices and racial profiling of Black people. SCAS is committed to increasing diversity in science and on the Board of Directors. To actively commit to anti-racism the Board of Directors will seek ways to promote diversity in science and provide more powerful opportunities for the advancement of Black students. The Board will add the following item on its agenda for every meeting: “How are we promoting diverse voices in science?” As part of that agenda item, the board will educate ourselves on diversity and inequity in the sciences. We will invite minoritized graduate students and postdocs to board meetings ahead of the annual meeting so we can be sure that our annual meetings are serving them. The Board will develop and create a scholarship for minoritized students. We will improve our outreach in our programs and publications to further push the sciences to diversify and amplify the voices of minoritized people. It is time for real change.

In solidarity,

SCAS Board of Directors