FSPA is committed to supporting all members of our community and ensuring we do all we can to work toward an anti-racist society and address the problems of underrepresentation in our field. See our statement below from June 2020.
FSPA Action Month
Beginning June 15, 2020, we will engage in a month of education, reflection and conversation as we consider what we as a community can do to enact the change required in academia, and more widely in our society.
We encourage all members of the FSPA community to participate to the extent they are able and comfortable.
Fermilab Users Slack (fermilab-users.slack.com)
FSPA Officer Statement, June 2, 2020
The statements below are the opinion of the undersigned members only, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Fermilab.
Dear Fermilab Students and Postdoc community,
We, the FSPA Officers, stand in solidarity with our Black friends, colleagues, and the wider Black community at this very painful time. We know many of you are hurting, upset, and angry.
The global pandemic has highlighted the deep historical and racial inequalities in our society. The Black community continues to experience abhorrent acts of racist violence such as those leading to the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others. We, as a group of people who value objectivity and truth, cannot watch on in silence. We unreservedly condemn these racist, hateful actions. We hear Black voices. We stand with our Black colleagues and friends. Black lives matter and are deeply valued. This is a time to reaffirm this belief and show it through our actions.
While these situations are impacting everyone, we acknowledge our colleagues of Color, particularly our Black colleagues, are disproportionately affected. As we reflect on the events, we want to be clear that we do not hope for a “return to normal”, but for sustained progress towards an anti-racist society. We all have a role and a responsibility to enact change. Included in this letter is a link to a list of anti-racism resources, which we did not compile, but are sharing in the hope that it is useful. It is important we acknowledge the labor of the communities of Color from which many of the resources come. There are of course many other resources, and we encourage you to share those that you find particularly insightful. We will note, as many others have, that if you are White, like some of us who write this letter, it is important to do this work without relying on the backs of our colleagues of Color.
We are open and listening to any steps that we can take. We understand that not everyone may want to share their thoughts right now, and we will continue to think of ways to support you. We want this to be the start of an ongoing conversation, and we encourage those that feel comfortable to be a part of it.
We want to end this letter by acknowledging the trauma that people are experiencing right now. You may feel the expectation to keep up unreasonable levels of academic output. We know that these expectations often fall almost entirely onto the shoulders of students and postdocs. We want to validate these feelings of pressure and trauma. And, it would be unjust if we do not acknowledge that this pressure weighs even more heavily on our colleagues of Color. Remember that your health, mental and physical, is more important than meeting the next deadline.
We urge you to care for yourselves. We urge you to care for each other.
Luke, Richie, Mike, Samantha, Abhilash, Maria