Statement from the CapSciComm Board, May 31, 2020
We call on the scientific and communications community here in California’s Capital Region to stand with our African American friends, neighbors, and colleagues in support of humanity’s common goal of equality, respect, and freedom from persecution.
The path to social justice inherently invokes science and communication. In the weeks ahead, we encourage professionals and students in our membership and broader community to make new efforts to engage one another in scholarship and dialogue.
First, educate yourself on the study and history of issues which entrench the oppression of Black America. The root of recent protests and pleas were not borne of any single incident this month or this year. They are the product of decades and centuries of physical, emotional, and societal wrongs upon a people.
Next, examine your own assumptions, cognitive biases, and knowledge gaps regarding the prevalence and seriousness of institutional threats that Black Americans face everyday. Learn to identify policies and attitudes at your workplace that are ripe for reexamination. Seek professional development training for yourself and your team on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Create supportive spaces for colleagues and mentees to discuss and recommend improvements. Communicate your efforts and model positive change for others in your peer group.
In scientific and journalistic investigations alike, we observe single data points, but we take notice when trends and patterns emerge over time and occurrence. The trends and patterns of Black oppression in the United States are crystal clear, and the causal factors are known. It is up to every one of us to pursue any meaningful solution, small or great, to bend the curve of injustice. To challenge our assumptions. To calibrate our awareness.
Black lives matter — because human lives matter.
Signed on This Day, May 31, 2020,
Ben Young Landis
Representing the Board of Capital Science Communicators
Capital Science Communicators (CapSciComm) is an association of science writers and communicators serving California’s Capital Region — Sacramento, Davis, and beyond. We connect science communicators in the Capital Region with resources and networks for professional development. Apply to become a member at www.capscicomm.org and follow us on Twitter at @CapSciComm
CapSciComm Professional Member José G. González contributed edits.