Graduate Student in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Research focus: Bioinformatics, Computational Genomics, Cancer and environmental epidemiology
“I became involved in this project because I believed it was crucial for academics, especially those who are in STEM. The document is a living document that contains a number of relevant topics for people to learn about including systemic vs. individual racism, socioeconomic gaps, intersectionality, the school-to-prison pipeline, and much more. For me, this document embodied many of things I felt needed to be addressed in STEM. I wanted to be apart of driving conversations.”
Ph.D. student in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Georgia
“Representation is critical. As a queer scientist, finding other scientists like me was imperative to my own success. With BIPOC scientists underrepresented in STEM, it is no wonder that departments have trouble recruiting BIPOC grad students. Representing them at the highest levels in Academia (Professors/Administrators) and tackling racism in our own departments is how we get more BIPOC grad students to enroll. We need good representation now to inspire the next generation of scientists. I’m hoping that departments disseminate this article and take the message seriously.”
Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology, Dalhousie University
“My hope for this document is for it to not only be a handy guide, but also an evidence-based education tool that can reach beyond STEM and academia. It is timely, well-researched, and relevant to all. Let’s continue to educate ourselves and those around us!”
ZEENA M.G. RIVERA
Graduate student in Neurosciences Interdepartmental Program, University of California Los Angeles
“When I saw Maya’s call for collaboration on Twitter, I knew I needed to help in any way I could. I had experience from undergrad with writing an anti-racist peace and justice curriculum, so I thought that I could lend some insight from that experience to this piece. I hope that this document can be a starting point within to departments to talk about the necessity of talking about the real harms of racism in STEM. It’s a long overdue, necessary conversation that requires real, systemic change.”
Ph. D. in Analytical Chemistry, University of Toronto, Department of Chemistry
“As a POC and a lifelong equity advocate, I knew this was an important project as soon as I heard about it. Being in academia and STEM, I know firsthand the pushback that occurs when we try to advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusiveness in this space. There are many who insist that academia is immune to social politics, bias, and racism, especially in STEM since the field is supposed to be objective. In reality this is not true, and the academic system is as broken as all others. This document will be extremely helpful to those like me who constantly feel like we need to explain that these issues exist and why it is necessary to tackle them. It will also serve as a great educational tool for anyone who wants to learn about the pervasiveness of inequity in STEM, especially with the many resources it includes. When I saw the project, I wanted to be a part of it because I recognized how necessary it is if we want to move forward and strive for real change. I hope that the document will foster discussion and action to make STEM and academia equitable, diverse, and inclusive spaces.
DR. JAMES P. QUINN
Research Fellow in the Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Research focus: Studying neuropeptides in dementia progression, to understand why they become dysregulated and their potential use as diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets for dementia.
“Moving over from the U.K. to the U.S. to start my postdoc last year has been tumultuous to say the least, due to COVID-19. However, I have been in awe of the current global Black Lives Matters protests which have inspired me to educate myself on racism in America and around the world. I saw that reviewing this essay would be a great way to start this journey to becoming a better ally and anti-racist and would highly recommend it to others to read.”
BS (2020) in Biochemistry, Northeastern University
“I met Maya through an activism channel in a Goldwater Scholar Slack group that we are both members of. I was working on compiling statistics for some anti-racism infographics to follow up on an open letter that our activism group had put together. I felt that in order to convince the broad scientific community that this action is necessary and urgent, we needed to paint a clear, evidence-based picture of the status and prevalence of systemic racism in STEM.
As I was digging through the literature, I knew that it would take a team of people to construct a cohesive narrative. So I joined Maya’s team to compile this document, with the goal of writing a review of the literature that was targeted towards the comments and critiques I had heard countless times on social media. I hope that this essay can not only help to educate people on these issues, but also decrease the time and effort spent on arguing the same points repeatedly, facilitating the ability to focus more effort on how we can make meaningful changes.”
Graduate Student in Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, University of California San Diego
“Our hope is that this essay will serve as a resource to facilitate more productive conversations surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion, and that these conversations will stimulate tangible changes. Reading and learning is only the beginning; we must also take action in our daily lives.”