June 3rd, 2020

Dear Martinos Community,

The Women in Science (WiS) committee would like to express and share their position regarding the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and many others the media and nation have missed. George Floyd was murdered on May 25th after being unjustly brutally restrained by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This egregious incident is just one of the many unfortunate cases that have taken place in 2020 alone. These recent events highlight the history of inequality and institutional racism in this country that has fueled generations of economic incarceration of Black families and physical incarceration of Black bodies (e.g. via a school-to-prison pipeline). The growing racial tensions coupled with the current situation has worsened the impact of the COVID-19 crisis in Black and African-American communities and subsequently adds to the recurrent physical and verbal violence these communities receive.

WiS stands behind all members of the Martinos community, especially those impacted by racial injustice, and supports all actions to effect positive change in our community and beyond. We condemn acts of racism perpetrated by individuals, institutions, and organizations. We condemn the creation and dissemination of misinformation that exists for no other purpose than to sow seeds of confusion and drive people apart.

As such, WiS commits to:

  1. Advocate for the hire of more Black individuals at the Martinos Center at all levels
  2. Ensure each series features diverse speakers, especially Black, Indigenous, & Women of Color (BIWOC).
  3. Hold events to understand how race and racism is currently embedded in our daily lives and how it affects us all.
  4. Host an event with a voluntary donation that will be donated to an anti-racist organization that supports the Black community.
  5. Discuss a book written by a woman of color at our next book club.
  6. Advocate for required and recurring diversity and inclusion training for all faculty, staff and students.
  7. Create a channel in the Women in Science Teams dedicated to racial equity

We suggest that:

  1. Supervisors consider decreasing the workload and pressure on employees during this time.
  2. Employees looking for support (or to support others) reach out to us (wis_mghmartinos@partners.org) and the MGH  Radiology Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee.
  3. All members of the Martinos community prioritize amplifying voices of minorities.

We have put together a non-exhaustive set of resources for advancing diversity, which can be found at: http://wis.martinos.org/black-lives-matter-resources/ 

We encourage all members of the Martinos community to listen to the POC voices being amplified on social media and discuss these events with each other. Racism, brutality, and hostility towards the Black community remains after news coverage fades. The responsibility is on those with more privilege and power to learn how to be proactive allies — WiS commits to continuing this work, and we hope you will too.

The Women in Science Committee