Black Lives Matter – an Opinion

Over the last week, people across the world are speaking out in outrage due to the murder of George Floyd. He is the latest death in a long string of violent acts against Black people like Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and recently, in our backyard, Steven Taylor. This violence is not new, and these outcomes are caused by the systemic racist system we live under.

As scientists, we cannot ignore the part we play in perpetuating racial injustice, nor its outsized effect on the Black experience. We must confront and remove the barriers that serve to exclude Black people, and all communities of color, to participate fully in the STEM field. We must rebuild our organizations, institutions, and workplaces so that we support, mentor, and protect our Black scientists, to allow them to reach their full potential.

Protest has been an integral part of this country since its founding. We stand in solidarity with the Black community at large, who are and have been fighting for their lives. We embrace the core values of diversity, inclusion, and respect. We support the peaceful protests that are being organized. We find the actions of the Minneapolis police in this instance and in too many others to be reprehensible and completely unacceptable. We look forward to helping lead real action that will build a peaceful society where people of color are treated equally and with dignity.

Black lives matter.

Fanny Frausto, WCC Co-Chair

James Postma, Chair

Alicia Taylor, Chair Elect

Daniel Calef, Member-at-Large

Son Nguyen, Alternate Councilor

Atefeh Taheri, Alternate Councilor

Marcus Cole

Nicki Davis

Charles Gluchowski, Member-at-Large

Linda Wraxall, Member-at-Large

Elaine Yamaguchi, WCC Co-Chair

Patrick S. Lee, Past-Chair, Councilor

Alex Madonik, Councilor

Paul Vartanian, Treasurer

Sushila Kanodia, Councilor

Eileen Nottoli, Councilor

Marinda Li Wu, Past ACS President

Jenelle Ball, Councilor

This is the opinion of the individuals, and not of the American Chemical Society

ACS Statement on the Killing of George Floyd

This week’s edition of Chemical and Engineering News is devoted to features about the contributions of Black scientists, and their comments on the situation.

C&EN Editor-in-Chief: