We are all appalled and overwhelmed by the unjustified use of force against the Black community, the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and a devastatingly long list of others. As the BBM organizers, we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We condemn the ongoing violence that disproportionately affects the Black community.
The extensive participation in protests all over the US and beyond, in the middle of a pandemic, has underscored how critical it is to speak out and take action. Silence also speaks volumes. Through silence and inaction, we perpetuate the prejudice and violence that have been part of the daily lives of our Black colleagues and friends, both inside and out of the science community.
As a result of the ongoing pandemic, we as scientists have increased visibility, bolstered public trust, and a magnified voice. We have the means to augment underrepresented voices. As scientists, employers, educators, science communicators, and clinicians, we have the means to implement real change by challenging injustice and prejudice in our labs, classrooms, and clinics.
At BBM, we strive to promote inclusivity and diversity. To this end, we are committing to the following:
- Offering a dedicated space for discussion on race and representation in the sciences by holding a breakout session on Diversity in STEM.
- Although this year’s registration is free, we have always provided an “Underrepresented Minorities in Biomedical Sciences Scholarship” which waives the registration fee. We are committed to continuing this in the future.
- As of 2022, we are expanding our scholarship to include a Travel Award to help microbiologists attend our meeting. All proceeds from our online store will go towards furnishing this award for next year. If your company wishes to help sponsor this endeavor, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We acknowledge that there is still work to be done to ensure equity, diversity, and representation both at BBM and in the scientific community. Below we have provided resources so that you too can participate. It is on all of us, especially those of us who have the privilege to speak out, to fight against injustice. This message is also an invitation for comments and suggestions from our participants, for being good allies, and for promoting Black and underrepresented voices. We are here to listen and act together, to make sure that we all enjoy the same privileges and basic human rights.
BBM Organizing Committee
Members of our community can take action through some of the following resources:
- Sign petitions.
- Here is a growing list of petitions you can sign your name to.
- Mental health resources: Make sure your students/post-docs/employees, especially Black and underrepresented minority employees, are aware of mental health resources available to them.
- Resources specialized for minorities
- Inclusive Therapists: https://linktr.ee/inclusivetherapists
- Ayana: Online therapy for marginalized and intersectional communities
- Resources for anyone dealing with mental health crises (US):
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
- National Suicide Prevention Online Chat
- Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741741.
- Address disparities in Black and minority representation in academic departments,
- Keep the conversation going and continue to learn: