“To be silent is to be complicit in our own destruction because racism destroys us all. But not being silent entails more than publishing statements. There is also the collective silence of inaction.” —A Call to Action for an Anti-Racist Science Community from Geoscientists of Color.
Earth sciences are the least diverse of STEM fields, despite the fact that the societal issues directly addressed by our science—pollution, climate change, and natural hazards—disproportionately impact communities of color: in the US, specifically Black, Native, and Latinx communities. The Movement for Black Lives and 2020 protests against police violence in the US have also led to renewed and invigorated discussions about racism and exclusion in the Earth sciences and highlighted the efforts of people who have long been working to improve our scientific community. Below are a few links to resources about increasing equity and diversity in Earth science that have helped me in my own personal education as well as fostered dialog and action among colleagues within and outside my department. The list is by no means exhaustive, but I hope some of these works will be helpful to others, as they have been to me.
- Erika Marín-Spiotta et al. (2020) Hostile climates are barriers to diversifying the geosciences. EGU Advances in Geosciences. link
- Namandje Bumpus (2020) Too many senior white academics still resist recognizing racism. Nature world view. link
- Kuheli Dutt (2020) Race and racism in the geosciences. Nature Geoscience. link
- Rachel Bernard & Emily Cooperdock (2018) No progress on diversity in 40 years. Nature Geoscience. link
- Michelle A. North, Warwick W. Hastie, & Lauren Hoyer (2020) Out of Africa: Out of Africa: The underrepresentation of African authors in high-impact geoscience literature. link
- APS Physics Education and Diversity. Bachelor’s Degrees Earned by African Americans, by Major. link
- A compilation of news articles on the links between racism, environmental degradation, and climate change (link), including this article by marine biologist and climate scientist Ayana Johnson, calling on scientists to step up and do better (link).
- Eos special topics: Making Geosciences Anti-racist (2020) link
- Call for a Robust Anti-Racism Plan for the Geosciences by Dr Hendratta Ali
- A Call to Action for an Anti-Racist Science Community from Geoscientists of Color
Resources for addressing discrimination at UM
Confidential and safe environments for students, faculty, and staff who wish to discuss their experiences and concerns: https://rackham.umich.edu/rackham-life/discrimination-and-harassment/#Confidential_Counseling.
A place to formally report discrimination, harassment or any other issues or concerns about the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan: https://lsa.umich.edu/earth/Portal/earth-departmental-climate-reporting-form.html.
University of Michigan diversity, equity, and inclusion pages.