As a community of scientists of color, we are deeply saddened by yet more murders of unarmed Black people by the police. We grieve for the families of these victims. The space here is not sufficient to name them. We know these recent events are nothing new, and in fact, have been a constant part of our lives. We are tired of being deeply troubled, excluded, and dehumanized. This climate, including on university campuses, has hindered the success of students and faculty of color, promoting feelings of fear, disregard, anxiety, self-consciousness, insecurity and diminished self-worth, all of which distract from the ability to focus and flourish in the STEM fields.
Since 2001, the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), one of the largest scientific meetings for minoritized students in the United States, has been committed to the educational, career, and personal development of young scientists of color. One of our major goals is to elevate and celebrate the successes of this community. ABRCMS brings together a community of scientists who have always paid attention to issues that people of color and other underrepresented groups face, and who work tirelessly to continue to increase the diversity and inclusion of the scientific community. While reports of the disproportionate effects of COVID-19, inadequate federal disaster response, and acts of police brutality within communities of color may come as news to some, our annual meetings have always included robust discussions of issues like these, culminating in strategies to help our constituents navigate the difficult landscape.
We are hopeful that the outpouring of statements of support for our community come with meaningful long term change, and that these statements are complemented with commitments to institutional changes that support the dreams and honor the humanity of scientists of color.
For our part, we are doubling down on forging a path toward real equity and inclusion in science. In the meantime, we implore you all to take care of yourselves, your families, and your communities, and know that ABRCMS will continue to support and nurture communities of science that are diverse and impactful.
The ABRCMS Steering Committee
Avery August, Cornell University, Chair Lisa Barnes, Rush University Squire Booker, Penn State University Cherrie Boyer, UCSF Arturo Casadevall, Johns Hopkins University Lydia Contreras, University of Texas at Austin Tracy Johnson, UCLA Mary Sanchez Lanier, Washington State University Beronda Montgomery, Michigan State University Juan Ramirez Lugo, University of Puerto Rico Crystal Watkins, Johns Hopkins University