June 5th, 2020
A message from the BCBA leadership team:
Today, we write to express our profound grief and outrage as we stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues, peers, friends, and family. Our hearts go out to the loved ones of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others who have been senselessly murdered at the hands of racist police and civilians. We must speak their names, resound their humanity, and commit to do everything we can to build a more compassionate, just society.
At BCBA, our commitment to diversity and inclusion continues in the important areas of training, education, external partnerships, and professional development—but we can do better. Underrepresentation of minorities and people of color students and postdocs is endemic to our field. Black students make up only around 6% of life sciences PhD students, and ethnic minorities are only about 11% of postdocs and 7% of life sciences faculty—numbers which have barely moved in the past decade [1,2].
How can our Black colleagues thrive when they do not see themselves represented in the institutions of science? How do we as a society live with the daily trauma of seeing Black bodies dehumanized by the institutions that are supposed to serve us? We unequivocally condemn all forms of discrimination and injustice and commit to fight against them.
With this desire for progress and the belief that there is no place for inequality in our organization, our hearts, or the world, we are doing our part to precipitate change. This week, we made a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative to support their mission of ending racial and economic injustice, educating the public about the complex racial history of this country, and protecting basic human rights. Our team is actively exploring other ways to support Black Lives Matter and listening to and uplifting Black voices in this journey. We invite everyone in our community to contribute your ideas and energy to this important work. Within our community of over 2,500 life science trainees and professionals across the Bay Area, we believe that it is our added responsibility to amplify voices that may otherwise be minimized. If you have a story to tell or message to share, please reach out to me so we can make it heard via our online Viewpoints and Community News platforms. The path to progress will involve collective effort; let’s take action today to build a better, equitable future where we can all thrive.
Yours in solidarity,
Marcela Preininger, President
Chair, Board of Directors