The Soltis lab stands against violence and in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, all those protesting injustice, and our own Black community members. We acknowledge that systemic inequality and structural racism exist in our own academic community. We must confront the colonial and racist history of research and academic institutions, and acknowledge our privilege and social power as a lab group failing to represent all members of society. We want to acknowledge the violence committed against Black people in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breanna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, but acknowledge that this has been a recurring tragedy in our country since its foundation and around the world. We must #SayTheirNames (https://twitter.com/hashtag/saytheirnames), remember, and act. This must end.
We recognize the systemic racism upon which our institutions are built, which forces BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) to severe disadvantages in wealth, job opportunity, health care, criminal justice, and education. Historically, academia has suppressed involvement of BIPOC and is not built for the comfort and inclusion of BIPOC to this day. We recognize additionally that BIPOC with an intersection of marginalized identities experience forms of discriminations both from the different facets of their identity and unique to the intersection of their identity. Despite recent efforts to recruit and retain BIPOC, many experience exclusion in STEM fields, do not receive adequate resources to pursue and persist in STEM degrees and careers, and are especially underrepresented in STEM leadership positions.
It is our firm belief that you have a place in our lab regardless of your race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, socioeconomic status, religion, nationality, neurodiversity, or physical disability. We hold strong value in a diversity of perspectives and experiences, and we are committed to continuing to learn and grow to create an inclusive environment.