NOTE: The following message was sent to the research community on June 9
Dear Campus Research Community,
Wednesday, June 10th, has been designated as a day when many academics across the nation are collectively speaking out to advocate for change in their communities about the injustices impacting the lives of African Americans and other black people. Organized by physicists and astronomers (https://www.particlesforjustice.org/), the strike has grown to include faculty, staff, and students from all disciplines who will pause their normal scholarly activities to support #STRIKE4BLACKLIVES and #SHUTDOWNSTEM, and also to contemplate how we can end racism in America.
In support of our colleagues who plan to participate in the strike, we will reschedule the June 10 Town Hall meetings that were initially planned for discussion of lab reopening to a later date. As urged by the strike organizers, we will repurpose the 10:30 a.m. town hall as an open forum to discuss these issues. We will be joined by Provost Phillips. This will be the first of many such discussions on eliminating systemic racism in research and innovation.
I urge all of us to look at June 10th as one opportunity to show solidarity with black people and to recognize the injustices of systemic racism that exist around the world. Despite our best intentions, research universities are not immune from these systemic challenges. As one example, proportionally few black people choose the sciences as a profession because research communities on college campuses often perpetuate bias and systemic racism, both consciously and unconsciously.
Institutionalized inequalities in educational opportunities, healthcare, and access to services beginning very early and persisting throughout life pose unacceptable barriers to entering our profession. Despite efforts to reverse this trend, few U.S. universities – including the UO – have made adequate progress on important and necessary diversity goals. Why we have failed and what we might do differently to eliminate racism in research communities and welcome greater diversity in our ranks is a good topic to think about, discuss, and act upon with colleagues on Wednesday.
We invite you to join us from 10:30-11:15am via zoom. Registration is NOT required. If you are a UO affiliate and need the ZOOM link, please contact email@example.com.