NutriBites Statement in Solidary & Support of Black Lives Matter
We, Kaylee Helfrich and Laetitia Meyrueix, the founders of NutriBites, want to be clear that Black Lives Matter.
The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, have focused our collective attention on the issue of systemic racism in the United States. This is not a new issue or an issue that exists only in this time and space. This is an ongoing and prevalent problem that has been and continues to affect the lives of BIPOC here in the United States.
Science has a long-standing history of justifying the inequalities between races and exploiting marginalized groups. You have only to look at the history of science here in the U.S. to see examples of this. The theft of cells from Henrietta Lacks, the Tuskegee Study, research trials that do not include enough Black people who end up harmed by the very medicine that was promised to help them, and researchers misidentifying health issues as a genetic issue instead of problems directly caused by racist policies. These are just some of the many known examples that we speak about. There is no doubt that there are many more such instances and that science continues to propagate the tenets of white supremacy.
To contextualize this in the realm of nutrition science, structural racism has played a key role in food access, security, and ultimately health. It is well known that rates of chronic diseases are increasing steadily in the U.S. and that nutrition & food are pivotal to maintaining health. Chronic diseases disproportionately affect BIPOC, and structural racism and discrimination are key contributors to these health disparities. With these facts, we cannot, as nutrition scientists, stand on the sidelines. We must take action and join the fight against racism.
In light of the recent events and movements, we want to acknowledge the hurt that many scientists and science-curious are feeling right now. We do not want to ignore that these current events impact you. As your peers, we respect you and care for your safety and success. If there is anything that we can personally do to ensure that NutriBites is adequately voicing your concerns to the wider nutrition scientist and nutrition-interested communities, please let us know.
We encourage our writers to challenge yourselves and write articles using an anti-racist lens. We also encourage articles that focus on thinking about nutrition in the context of racism as well as how racism might impact the nutrition of our nation.
In the words of Angela Davis, “…it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.” This is especially true in the academic environment that has long upheld and continues to uphold the tenets of white supremacy. The weight of advancing racial justice cannot rest solely on BIPOC. It is an effort we must all be involved in. White silence must end now.
Resources have been compiled by Laetitia Meyrueix on what it means to be anti-racist and how you can take action to end white silence: http://tiny.cc/endwhitesilence
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