AIP Statement on #ShutDownSTEM

From AIP CEO Michael Moloney,

At AIP, we are watching the developments of protests and action happening in our community that are focused on taking a stand against lasting systemic racial injustice. We’re proud of the grassroots responses in which our family, friends, colleagues, neighbors and fellow citizens are engaged. To those who are protesting: we see you, and we stand with you.

We share in the feelings of anger and frustration at recent events that result from the social, economic, and academic injustice that marginalizes and dehumanizes our Black fellow citizens. The racism that is experienced by the Black community is something that needs to be addressed, and progress on this front is long overdue. To be clear, AIP recognizes its own role as part of a larger societal construct that perpetuates racism, and we are committed to address that.

To provide us at AIP with time to pause and reflect on our individual and organizational responsibilities to address and redress injustices experienced by our Black colleagues at the Institute and in the physical sciences community, AIP will be participating in the #ShutDownSTEM initiative on Wednesday, June 10.

The #ShutDownSTEM initiative is a multi-identity, intersectional coalition of STEM professionals and academics taking action for Black lives. The day is intended to provide all of us in STEM and academia a moment to press pause and reflect. Ways that we can reflect include: taking time to educate ourselves, listening to our Black colleagues, and helping to heal the toxic space that racism has created.

To make room for reflection at AIP, I am asking everyone to cancel non-essential meetings for Wednesday, June 10. During this time, staff are strongly encouraged to review resources that can help us better understand the oppressive barriers that our Black colleagues encounter in their lives. As scientists and academics, we know that in order to solve this problem, we first need to understand it.

To help us listen better, we will not be utilizing our social media channels to promote new AIP content on Wednesday, and our publishing subsidiary, AIP Publishing, will halt publication and external communication, as well. Instead, we will be focusing on sharing and amplifying the voices of Black professionals in STEM and posting relevant resources for our audience.

I hope you will consider joining AIP in spending much of the day reflecting on the experiences of Black colleagues, students, faculty, research staff, and others in the physical sciences community. In addition, I hope each one of us will spend time considering how AIP and other organizations in our STEM community can further our commitment to diversity and equity for all, but on this day particularly for Black people in the physical sciences.

If you are looking for resources to examine today, I encourage you to check out ShutDownSTEM’s Resource page, AIP’s Diversity Initiatives page, or follow us on Twitter where we will be sharing resources.