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.
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
- Pledge individual action: https://harvard.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bmhRuxUn949v445
- Schedule an appointment with Benita Wolff, Equity and Inclusion Fellow for the Division of Science: https://calendly.com/i9apts/benita?month=2020-06
Join the Conversation or Movement:
- A historic crossroads for systemic racism and policing in America: policycast with Harvard's Khalil Muhammad and Erica Chenoweth (June 8, 2020)
- HGSU-UAW COVID-19 Night School; Talk #7 - Race & Policing Panel
- The full video of President Obama’s Town Hall on George Floyd and the Police Brutality Protests
- NAACP’s Emergency Virtual Town Hall: A Nation in Peril
- Harvard WIT+ Fighting Anti-Blackness Resource List
- BlackLivesMatter: Ways you can help
- #ShutDownSTEM: resources to reflect and act
- Black Perspectives: Reading List
Resources for Engaging in Anti-Racism Work and Practicing Solidarity:
- Project Implicit: A Harvard-run research project that allows users to evaluate their implicit biases
- Harvard-based Anti-racism Reading GroupHarvard Division of Science Anti-Racism Resources
- Resources for Engaging in Anti-Racism Work (Google Drive)
- We are Living in a Racist Pandemic
- Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re Okay – Chances are They’re Not
- Affirming Black Lives Without Inducing Trauma
- How Higher Education can Fight Racism, Speak Up When it’s Hard
- Race Forward: What is Systemic Racism? [VIDEOS]
- Understanding and Dismantling Racism: A Booklist for White Readers
- 10 Books About Race To Read Instead Of Asking A Person Of Color To Explain Things To You
- Save the Tears: White Woman's Guide
- 5 Ways White People Can Take Action in Response to White and State-Sanctioned Violence
- Black Culture Films & Shows
- Racial Justice, Racial Equity, and Anti-Racism Reading List
- 75 Things White People Can do for Racial Justice
- What to Do Instead of Calling the Police
- National Museum of African American History and Culture: Talking about Race
Data for Science Fields:
- National Statistics on STEM degree recipients, by ethnicity
- ACS: Diversity in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
- Delving Further into the Funding Gap Between White and Black Researchers (NIH)
Racial Bias in Scientific Fields:
- Diversify Chemistry: a resource to find and highlight the contributions of chemists from traditionally underrepresented groups
- Birding While Black
- Scientists Speak out Against Racial Injustice and Discrimination Amid Protests
- Following Outrage, Chemistry Journal Makes a Paper Decrying Diversity Disappear Diversity in the Chemical Sciences
- How Implicit Bias and Lack of Diversity Undermine Science
- Study Identifies a Key Reason Black Scientists are Less Likely to Receive NIH Funding
- What I Learned While Reporting on the Dearth of Black Mathematicians
- Earth Science Has a Whiteness Problem
- Experiences of Black Doctoral Students Underscores Need to Increase Diversity in STEM Fields
- (More) Bias in Science Hiring
- Task Force Outlines Changes Needed to Increase African American Physics and Astronomy Students
- Racial and Gender Biases Plague Post Doc Hiring
- To Attract More Blacks and Hispanics to STEM, Universities Must Address Racial Issues on Campus
Strategies for Leaders:
- How Higher Education can Fight Racism: Speak up When It’s Hard
- What do Leaders Need to Understand About Diversity?
- 10 Small Steps for Department Chairs to Foster Inclusion
- 4 Ways that Academics and Scientists can Effectively Combat Racism
- Incentivizing Faculty Diversity
- Top 10 Practical Steps for Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Higher Education
Resources for People of Color to Engage in Self-Care:
- Surviving & Resisting Hate: A Toolkit for People of Color
- Self-Care Tips for Black People Who Are Struggling with this Very Painful Week
- Self-Care for People of Color after Psychological Trauma
- The Four Bodies: A holistic toolkit for Coping with Racial Trauma
Supporting African American Colleagues:
- Two Pandemics Division of Science and SEAS Community Conversation on June 2, 2020
- How White Managers can Respond to Anti-Black Violence
- Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re OK, Chances are They’re Not
- Before You Check-In on Your Black Friend, Read This
- National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers
- ACS Chapters for Cross-Cultural Diversity, Persons with Disabilities, LGBTQ+, and Women
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:
- “America’s Racial Contract Is Killing Us”, Adam Serwer, Atlantic (May 8, 2020)
- Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement (Mentoring a New Generation of Activists
- ”My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant”, Jose Antonio Vargas, The New York Times Magazine (June 22, 2011)
- The 1619 Project (all the articles), The New York Times Magazine
- The Combahee River Collective Statement
- “The Intersectionality Wars”, Jane Coaston, Vox (May 28, 2019)
- Tips for Creating Effective White Caucus Groups developed by Craig Elliott PhD
- “Where do I donate? Why is the uprising violent? Should I go protest?”, Courtney Martin (June 1, 2020)
- ”White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”, Peggy McIntosh
- “Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?”, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Atlantic (May 12, 2020)
Films to Watch:
- "When They See Us"
- "The Hate U Give"
- "I Am Not Your Negro"
- "If Beale Street Could Talk"
- "American Son"
- "Black Power Mixtape"
- "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:
- 1619 (New York Times)
- About Race
- Code Switch (NPR)
- Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
- Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
- Pod For The Cause (from The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights)
- Pod Save the People (Crooked Media)
- Seeing White