June 4, 2020
FABBS would like to join the voices of the Societies and universities that make up our Federation in decrying the overt racism we have seen in the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery; the implicit racism we have seen in the disproportionate deaths to COVID of African Americans; and the ongoing police brutality against peaceful protest and expressions of support for the value of Black lives. In my role as president of the FABBS Board, as well as a trauma researcher who studies the impact of tragedies on individuals and communities, my work makes clear how difficult a time this is for our Black colleagues and peoples of color. These horrendous events come as our country has also been reeling from a difficult few months that saw the deaths to COVID-19 of over 105,000 US lives and the loss of jobs for over 40,000,000 Americans. The chronic stress of the pandemic, coupled with the laying bare of racism and its associated protests, seem to many to be almost too much to bear. I want to recognize the profound grief and anxiety that many of our members are feeling.
But perhaps this time is different and we will really see action toward dismantling racist actions and policies in our country. Perhaps there will be changes — rather than merely lip service — regarding the value of diversity, equity and inclusion in our institutions and our society. Toward that end, FABBS is committed to ensuring that our sciences can contribute to the discussion and pursue actions in support of eliminating disparities in our society and ensuring justice for all. We will continue to support our societies and affiliates and to promote the work of our scientists to be part of the solution.
Roxane Cohen Silver, Ph.D.
Associate Director, UCI ADVANCE Program
Office of Inclusive Excellence
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