Anti-Racism at CCB

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Statement in Solidarity

June 4, 2020


Dear CCB community,

This week, people all over the world mourned with rage, deep sadness, and fear the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others. We, in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, condemn the acts of violence that stole their lives; and we pledge to do more than say we stand with our Black and Allied community members. We pledge to act.

We recognize that anti-Black violence is not new, that we fail our Black community members when we choose the easy path of inaction and silence. Changing culture is difficult but not impossible. As a community, we need to change. Though these uprisings will eventually fade, we cannot slip back into complacency. This call to action is not just for police forces; we all need to address inequities in our governance, systems, practices, and behaviors that perpetuate anti-Black racism, to bolster the voices of our Black colleagues and friends, and to add our voices to theirs, which are strained from shouting too long into feckless ears.

During the past months, all of us have experienced disruption and discomfort. But some have experienced far more than others. And for some, these feelings are all too familiar, only amplified during these uncertain, tragic times. Reopening our labs comes with risk. But going for a jog or bird watching should not. As President Obama said in his remarks last night, as difficult and scary as these days have been, they’ve also been an opportunity for people to be awakened, to work together, to tackle those underlying issues that have thus far been ignored. We are awake. We pledge to stay awake.

CCB’s Community Committee will partner with Equity and Inclusion Fellow, Benita Wolff, to develop meaningful ways to begin this work in our department. We want to expand this committee to include as many voices as possible. Please write Deana Reardon directly if you would like to join.

We cannot stand silent. The more involvement and input into CCB’s path forward, the better.


Ted Betley

Chair, on behalf of the CCB Leadership Team


For members of our community who are looking for support or ways to offer support, we encourage you to take advantage of the many conversations and resources these events inspired. Here are just a few:

Speak Up! Report racial discrimination in the Harvard community


Join the Conversation or Movement:

Resources for Engaging in Anti-Racism Work and Practicing Solidarity: 

Data for Science Fields: 

Racial Bias in Scientific Fields: 

Strategies for Leaders: 

Resources for People of Color to Engage in Self-Care:

Supporting African American Colleagues: 

Scientific Organizations:


Books to Read:

  • "How to Be an Antiracist," Ibram X. Kendi 
  • "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism," Robin DiAngelo 
  • "I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness," Austin Channing Brown
  • "So You Want to Talk About Race," Ijeoma Oluo 
  • "Stamped from the Beginning," Ibram X. Kendi 
  • "Black Feminist Thought," Patricia Hill Collins 
  • "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," Michelle Alexander 
  • "Lies My Teacher Told Me," James W. Loewen 
  • "The Warmth of Other Suns," Isabel Wilkerson 
  • "The Fire Next time," James Baldwin 
  • "Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption," Bryan Stevenson 
  • "Black Like Me," John Howard Griffin 
  • "Sister Outsider," Audre Lorde 
  • "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," Maya Angelou 
  • "Police Brutality: An Anthology," Jill Nelson
  • "Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower," Brittney Cooper
  • "Heavy: An American Memoir," Kiese Laymon
  • "Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color," Andrea J. Ritchie
  • "Me and White Supremacy," Layla F. Saad
  • "Raising Our Hands," Jenna Arnold
  • "Redefining Realness," Janet Mock 
  • "So You Want to Talk About Race," Ijeoma Oluo
  • "The Bluest Eye," Toni Morrison
  • "The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century," Grace Lee Boggs
  • "The Warmth of Other Suns," Isabel Wilkerson
  • "Their Eyes Were Watching God," Zora Neale Hurston
  • "This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color," Cherríe Moraga
  • "When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America," Ira Katznelson

Articles to Read:

Films to Watch:

  • "13TH" 
  • "When They See Us" 
  • "The Hate U Give"
  • "I Am Not Your Negro"
  • "If Beale Street Could Talk" 
  • "Selma" 
  • "Becoming" 
  • "Fences" 
  • "American Son"
  • "Black Power Mixtape"
  • "Blindspotting"
  • "Clemency"
  • "Dear White People"
  • "Fruitvale Station"
  • "Just Mercy"
  • "King In The Wilderness"
  • "See You Yesterday"
  • "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution"

Podcasts to Listen to: