Statement against racism and discrimination to the GRAPPA community
9 June 2020
As members of GRAPPA, we condemn in the strongest terms the brutal killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, as well as countless other instances of racism. These horrific events in the United States have once again put a spotlight on the continued oppression and inequity created by systemic and structural racism. It must be recognised, however, that racism and discrimination are prevalent throughout society and are a global problem, including in the Netherlands and at academic institutions like ours. Furthermore, it must be acknowledged that members of the scientific community regularly experience bias and racism, often in ways that aren’t recognised by the majority of us.
We realise that inequity and racism prohibit, damage and limit the scientific careers of affected individuals and deprives science of their valuable contributions. This is our problem to solve. We can’t leave it to the underrepresented minorities to fight a problem that they didn’t create. Instead we must stand shoulder to shoulder with our friends and colleagues that suffer from these injustices. It is imperative that those of us with privilege stand alongside the oppressed. It isn’t enough just to understand the anger of the Black community, but we must speak out against any form of discrimination. We must amplify their voices and join their fight for real and sustained change.
At GRAPPA, we strive to create an environment that is welcoming and inclusive for all, where nobody is discriminated against because of their ethnic background, religion, gender or sexual orientation. It is our responsibility to ensure that racism and systemic inequity have no place in our community, and to re-evaluate the words and actions that perpetuate discriminatory structures.
We are committed to dismantling any form of discrimination in our community and are actively working towards this. Besides establishing a Code of Conduct, we have created a new committee for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity at GRAPPA, which will be developing concrete plans to address these challenges. During the next few weeks, we will report on our progress in the implementation of these plans on the GRAPPA website, and invite feedback from the community. In the meanwhile, we stand in solidarity with everyone affected by racism and discrimination of any kind.