Sigma Xi Supports the #ShutDownSTEM Initative

by Heather Thorstensen | Jun 11, 2020

After publishing a statement on racial and social justice on June 5, Sigma Xi encouraged its members and affiliates to support the Strike for Black Lives and #ShutDownAcademia, #ShutDownSTEM initiatives, which called for researchers to pause their usual daily work on June 10 and devote time to learning about systemic racism and ways to address inequalities. 

Below is a sample of how the Sigma Xi community participated. 

Sandra Kizior, Illinois*

I am (12 years) retired and no longer associated with a research group. I am engaging dear friends who are part of the Black community. And, because I am a religious person as well, I am praying for justice and peace.

Their plight has gone on too long. We need a major change of attitude all across our society. Communities need to engage more often to really know that we are more alike than we think. Its our world, and up to all of us to make it a better one. As many have said, we need to replace racial hatred with love.

Jonathan Krall, Virginia*

I'm glad the scientists are finally waking up. We also need to strike over climate. That climate scientists talk doom while looking and acting comfortable and secure undercuts their message.

Mary C. Hill, Kansas* 

I watched "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man" with Emmanuel Acho. I have read books, but actually being with people brings it to a new level.

Paula Figueiredo, North Carolina

I participated in a group discussion about racial and social justice. I learned that there is a lot of awareness that people need to do, not to engage in racism (that sometimes can even be subconscious).


I learned that Black students, more than LatinX students, leave STEM at rates not explained by poverty and educational background. 

*=Sigma Xi member or affiliate

To get involved in Sigma Xi's work to cultivate a diverse and inclusive research community, email

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