CoSE Task Force for Antiracism

The Context of the Task Force 

While scientific organizations, professional societies, and alliances issued statements of support to eradicate racism in the aftermath of the highly publicized murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Dion Johnson, Ahmaud Arbery, and the racially motivated ten murders of African Americans in Buffalo, New York, it is not enough to simply proclaim commitments to change or to act only when socially expedient to do so. 

The field of science, and specifically the work and engagements of the faculty, staff, and students of CoSE, should not be inextricably tied to commodification, colonialism, and its complicity in institutional racism. To achieve this change and to move beyond mere statements, systems that continue to oppress communities of color must be exposed, interrogated, and changed. The discourse around “diversity, equity and inclusion” in STEM must be viewed as a reclamation project for all oppressed groups, especially for CoSE.

The reclamation of racial justice is arguably the most important educational imperative during this time of turmoil (Brown, 2019). To achieve these goals, CoSE must support work that is equally focused on eradicating systemic racism and advancing racial equity within the mechanisms of how instruction is delivered, how programs are designed, and how resources are allocated, while maintaining a clear vision of the context in which it is being offered to students, faculty, and staff. CoSE must acknowledge and commit to addressing the long-term effects of racism, especially anti-Black racism, that inflicts tremendous and unfair burdens on faculty, staff, and students of color, especially students of African Ancestry. CoSE stands in solidarity with all others striving toward racial equity, actively committed to achieving the vision for enacting anti-racist policies and practices in the college.