In the last few weeks we have had many stark reminders of the racial inequality that is a daily reality for many. Too many lives have been needlessly lost and we as a community must take action. The East Bay AWIS Board acknowledges and stands against systemic racism, and we call on our network to join us. The time for diversity, inclusion and belonging is now, and it is needed in our homes, our neighborhoods and our workplaces—in short, everywhere. East Bay AWIS is a place where diversity is valued and celebrated. Our community is nurtured to be an inclusive environment where members can freely express themselves, but we need to expand that belonging outside of AWIS.
By being silent or by accepting ‘business as usual,’ we are only perpetuating the harm of systemic racism. We encourage our STEM community to use whatever privilege you have to empower positive change. Apply your professional influence to diverse and inclusive hiring and retention practices. Educate yourself on the issues and your role in them, starting with this Resource Pack the Board has compiled. Challenge yourself not to look away. Provide mentoring and sponsorship for minority colleagues and amplify their voices. Participate in making space for new approaches and ideas, including employee resource groups. Most importantly speak up when you witness bias, discrimination or racism.
Ending systemic racism is a shared responsibility, and will require sustained commitment. However, the East Bay AWIS Board is optimistic that our STEM community members, who learn and adapt constantly in their work to provide innovative technologies, can rise to the challenge of making the STEM community safe and equitable for all. We as a Board are constantly inspired by the energy, insights and empathy of our members, and we commit to providing you resources for becoming agents of change.
Yours in Science and Social Justice,
The East Bay AWIS Board
PS. In this difficult time, let’s get together on June 9th at 12pm for a healing meditation on loving kindness and peace. Register here for more information