Support the African American Community on June 10

June 10, 2020

“We pledge to elevate the conversation about racism and discrimination within the research community. We will listen and learn about the ways Sigma Xi can contribute to a more equitable society.”

—From Sigma Xi’s Statement of Support for Racial and Social Justice, June 5, 2020

Last week, Sigma Xi released a statement of support for racial and social justice. In it, your Society affirmed that it is our responsibility to advocate for equity and inclusivity in all segments of society and call for systemic changes to end racial discrimination. 

On Wednesday, June 10, STEM professionals and those in academia are calling for strikes, such as the Strike for Black Lives and #ShutDownSTEM. The initiative encourages researchers to pause their usual daily work and devote time to learning about systemic racism and ways to address inequalities. Sigma Xi and American Scientist  will confirm our commitment and support it with action. Sigma Xi Headquarters will participate by giving staff designated time to listen to each other, educate themselves, and reflect on issues related to racial and social justice.  

We encourage you to support the effort and to spread the word about it at your institution. One way to get involved is to cancel or repurpose your regularly scheduled research, meetings, and classes. We understand some research activities can’t be paused, and for that we suggest the following options.

Ways to Participate

  • See participation ideas from Strike for Black Lives and #ShutDownAcademia and #ShutDownSTEM

  • If you are new to this issue, use the organizers’ resource materials to educate yourself about social justice and things you can do to be part of the solution

  • Participate in a protest while practicing social distancing best practices

  • African American STEM community members are encouraged to rest and focus on their mental health

  • Review your institution’s policy on diversity and inclusion, assess if there are gaps to fill, and suggest improvements to your leadership team

  • Tell us what you are doing so we can share it

Black lives matter to research, and all aspects of society. Starting June 10, we’re not going back to business as usual. It’s time for change. 

Eman Ghanem
Director of Membership, Chapters, and Programs
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society 

More About Sigma Xi: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society is the world’s largest multidisciplinary honor society for scientists and engineers. Its mission is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition. Sigma Xi chapters can be found at colleges and universities, government laboratories, and industry research centers around the world. More than 200 Nobel Prize winners have been members. The Society is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. On Twitter: @SigmaXiSociety