Today, we have not scheduled any social media content and are using all our social media tools and our energy to listen to our colleagues at the #ShutDownSTEM and #BlackLivesMatter movements.
Organized in part by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, #ShutDownSTEM is a grassroots movement that aims to “transition to a lifelong commitment of actions to eradicate anti-Black racism in academia and STEM.”
In the wake of last week’s George Floyd protests and the greater Black Lives Matter movement, SWE is doing its part to listen and support those who are advocating for the end of racism in STEM. We know that science, technology, engineering, and math are not immune to the discrimination, subjugation, and silencing of minority colleagues and voices. The reasons for this are deeply ingrained in the systems that govern the conduct of these fields. When we hold up a mirror to the scientific enterprise, we see that it’s not only politicians and law enforcement that need to be reminded that Black Lives Matter.
Almost every generation has arrived at a similar moment of opportunity born of tragedy. Progress will require systemic change that, as of yet, we have been unable to make. To be clear, AAAS is a part of that system. SWE strives to be, too. As we plan for the actions to ensure this moment does not slip away, it’s time for us to pause, listen, and reflect on how as an organization, as members of the scientific community, and as members of our broader communities, we can and must be a powerful force for change.
We are committed to education, action, and healing in STEM and we hope to encourage other institutions and individuals to get involved.
This is not a moment that our community can let pass. It is time to stop what we’re doing, take time to listen to our friends and colleagues, and commit ourselves to take the actions needed to bring about real and lasting change.
Ways You Can Get Involved
- We encourage you to observe in some way #ShutDownSTEM today. At SWE, we will adjust our calendars to provide time for listening and reflection and hope you all will consider doing so in some way—by reading, conversing, engaging in constructive conversations, demonstrations, or other activities. The #ShutDownSTEM website has resources to help make your plan and share it with others.
- Consider joining your AAAS colleagues in taking the time to learn more about these issues by reviewing resources suggested by #ShutDownSTEM.
- Take time to review action items that you developed in the last week and follow up on those. It’s important to keep the momentum alive.
There is real hope for positive change, but fulfilling that hope requires a plan and following through.
Please let us know if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions.