Dear NutriBites Community,

Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 10th, we are calling upon all of you, our colleagues, and peers, to #ShutDownSTEM and #ShutDownAcademia. In the wake of the inhumane murders of Black people and violent, state-sanctioned retaliation against Black protestors, it is clear that we have an ethical obligation to eradicate anti-Black racism within our STEM and academic communities.

We ask that for the entire day, you commit to ceasing all STEM and academic work. Instead, this day should be for:

  1. Black academics to process, recover and heal
  2. Non-Black academics to reflect and evaluate on racism in our community and commit to actionable items to eradicate racism from STEM and academia

As scientists, our work is not separate from its societal consequences. We cannot deny that science is complicit in upholding and perpetuating structural racism. From the eugenicist rhetoric in genetics to the mass surveillance technologies used to terrorize communities of color, we are implicated in the creation of racist ideologies and instruments. We thus have a responsibility to commit to meaningful, actionable, anti-racist change.

To Black academics and the Black STEM community, this time is to rest, reflect, and heal. Take as much time as you need to do anything you want to. We are here to carry the moment and to share the load.

To all non-Black members of STEM and academic communities, you need to stop your academic work. Direct your efforts and STEM activities to incorporate eradicating racism as part of your daily work. We ask you to stop all conversations about your academic and STEM specific topics, cancel all meetings unrelated to making systemic change, send zero emails about advancing your academic and STEM projects. Instead, educate yourself on anti-racism, and how to advance anti-racist actions within STEM and academia. We highly suggest everyone take time to read the #BlackInTheIvory hashtag on twitter to educate ourselves.

#ShutDownSTEM and #ShutDownAcademia join with members of Particles for Justice in calling for a Strike4BlackLives. For more anti-racist resources, please visit shutdownacademia.com and shutdownstem.com and share your detailed plans and actions with the hashtags, #ShutDownAcademia and #ShutDownSTEM.

Together we can create a more equitable and just community free of anti-Black racism.

Yours in solidarity,

Kaylee & Laetitia

*Big thank you to FreeRads for the template

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