Monday, June 8, 2020
Dear EPS community,
During these difficult times, I encourage everyone to listen, reflect, and take action.
On June 10 consider joining a global initiative to take action to eradicate structural and systemic oppression at all levels, building on the long history of Black activism, scholarship and leadership.
As individuals and as members of EPS we must take meaningful action against racism, and in particular deep systemic anti-Black racism, by being anti-racist. We have a department strategic plan that embraces inclusion and diversity and we must live up to those aspirations.
The unfolding events in the United States and recognized by protests and marches globally are highlighting entrenched systematic racism that has been in our culture and institutions for generations. We must educate ourselves on these issues and ask: “what can I do to change our society?” and then take concrete action. Now, a month from now, years from now, and decades from now.
Within our own small world of EPS we also have a role to play.
We need to ask:
Who holds power and benefits from the status quo?
Who does not feel welcome, safe, and supported, and why?
Who is being left out, and why?
We need to understand the lived experiences of minoritized groups.
We need to identify how our policies and procedures can be anti-discriminatory.
We need to make sure we that have no unspoken rules that discriminate.
As a starting point in EPS, we will revisit our strategic plan for enhancing diversity.
We will work to provide more and more effective resources to support minoritized members of our community.
Both will happen over the coming year.
And we will ask our external review committee to assess our progress and shortcomings when they review our department next year.
Some of you have already reached out with feedback and suggestions. Thank you.
To this end, please act as individuals and also engage with us moving forwards
to fight racism in society, in EPS, and in the Geosciences.
To quote Angela Davis, “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist”
Garniss H. Curtis Endowed Department Chair, Professor