The recent and ongoing deaths of Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement has once again brought to the forefront that Black Lives still do not matter. Black students and professionals not only must continue to manage their academic pursuits but must do so under the emotional and psychological strain of fighting and advocating for their basic human rights. Despite being a discipline that promotes and studies biodiversity as a measure of ecosystem health, ecology is woefully lacking in diversity. Making meaningful change towards racial equity and inclusion calls for recognizing and dismantling systemic racism. As a black ecologist, I stand in solidarity with the BLACK LIVES MOVEMENT and strongly denounce the senseless institutionalized violence against Black people.
To this day, I still believe that ecology, and science more broadly, can only be a vehicle for change, creativity and innovation when it reflects the diversity of the society it serves. To that end, I am recommitting myself to mentoring BIPOC students, teachers and visiting scholars. I will continue to advocate for diversity measures within the BGE department, and update my teaching materials to reflect the works of BIPOC scientists.
I am tired and heartbroken but also determined to work towards a more just and diverse society. BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Resources for promoting diversity advancement in ecology and STEM
“To create an equal society, we must commit to making unbiased choices and being antiracist in all aspects of our lives.”
Guides and resources from the National Museum of African American History and Culture
The digital space that uniquely intersects social justice and STEM – while centering people of color
Aims to celebrate and inspire Black connections and leadership in nature and change the face of conservation.