Antiracism header image.png

Antiracism & the CSUPERB Community

In light of the recent killings of Black Americans and the protests that erupted after, it is clear the time to eradicate racism is now. The webinar will consist of a short introduction on some of the data surrounding the unequal treatment of Black Americans at the hands of police to contextualize the recent violence and its relevance to those in STEM. After, there will be a breakout session for students, faculty, staff and administrators to provide a space for discussion, individual responses and the sharing of personal experiences, with the intention of nucleating the next steps our community should take in addressing the diverse needs of biotechnologically-oriented students and faculty on this topic across the CSU system.

This webinar is a response to the current events in America. After the videos and images of the deaths of black Americans, the country has erupted in non-stop protests calling for ending racism. This call has been heard in the STEM community and has prompted CSUPERB to reflect on our commitment to eradicate racism. We have decided to create formalized programming to support this commitment. This webinar is our first step and will be moderated by Christine Montgomery, the CSUPERB Student Programs Specialist. She received her M.S. in Criminal Justice/Criminology from SDSU and has conducted research on implicit bias in San Diego police officers. 

Please look out for more programming over this next academic year. We will provide educational programming through webinars, and other means throughout the year, using scientific data to provide context to the racial inequality in America. In addition, we will provide resources to equip PI’s, mentors and students to better navigate this topic. We will be a place of safety where those affected by racism can speak openly and heal. The biotechnology community is not immune from racism; we have much work to do.


Please view our July 15th webinar below.


Webinar: 

The full webinar can be viewed on our Youtube channel:  Click Here (https://youtu.be/WkU-d7yG0Ac)

Webinar transcript is available, linked here

To read the questions asked by participants, you can read the webinar chat log by clicking here


A message from Christine Montgomery, CSUPERB Student Programs Specialist, MS in Criminal Justice/Criminology from SDSU.
Friday, June 26, 2020

Over the past month, we have been flooded with images of the deaths of fellow black Americans at the hands of the police. No doubt, we are living in two major crises - the COVID-19 pandemic and racism. We witnessed history as millions of Americans united across all 50 states to protest the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. The world has been united in its response with countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Britain and Canada all showing their solidarity in support of black lives. In addition, 54 African countries signed a letter asking the United Nations to inquire about police brutality in America. Numerous corporations have put out statements and contributed millions to non-profit, anti-racist organizations to show their commitment to making black lives matter. In our own backyard, STEM researchers organized a strike for black lives on June 10 using #ShutDownStem and #ShutDownAcademia to take time to amplify black voices and call for STEM organizations to create plans to eradicate racism. This is truly history in the making. 

Where does CSUPERB fit in? As an affinity group within the CSU system, CSUPERB has a history of engaging students of all races, genders and creeds in biotechnology research and workforce preparation. When students from underrepresented backgrounds persist in STEM degrees, graduate and enter the biotechnology workforce, it diminishes the equity gaps that are one of the chief consequences of racism and oppression. CSUPERB also supports numerous faculty with programs that help them work more successfully with our diverse population of CSU students, but we can do more. 
 
As we reflect on our commitment to eradicate racism, we have decided to create formalized programming to support this commitment. For the first step, CSUPERB will host a webinar titled, “How to be an Anti-Racist Scientist” with myself as the moderator. I received my M.S. in Criminal Justice/Criminology from SDSU and have conducted research on implicit bias in San Diego police officers. As we plan out the next academic year, we will provide educational programming through webinars, and other means throughout the year, using scientific data to provide context to the racial inequality in America. In addition, we will provide resources to equip PI’s, mentors and students to better navigate this topic. We will be a place of safety where those affected by racism can speak openly and heal. The biotechnology community is not immune from racism; we have much work to do.

As we look forward to the 4th of July and enjoy our country’s celebration of independence, there is another celebration of freedom in America that recently passed – Juneteenth. Although slavery was outlawed in 1863 by the Emancipation Proclamation, there was great resistance to freeing enslaved people. It wasn’t until two years later on June 19th, 1865 in Galveston, Texas that General Granger and his regiment arrived to bring the news of freedom. With the surrender of General Lee earlier in April, General Granger and his troops were strong enough to enforce the Executive Order. As a result, many African-Americans celebrate Juneteenth as American’s second Independence Day! Let’s remember both holidays in our hearts as we celebrate our country’s independence. Happy belated Juneteenth and Happy 4th of July!

What we are reading and watching:
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
13th Documentary – Available on Netflix and Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krfcq5pF8u8
Being Antiracist - Smithsonian - National Museum of African American History & Culture