Herpetologists’ League stands against racism, hate, and violence against the Black community. We recognize that these issues are not new, but systemic and pervasive. We recognize that science and scientists have a long history of complicity in oppressing, silencing, and exploiting Black individuals and communities. This history has cost countless opportunities for the Black community to equitably and safely engage in science. It has cost our world and society immeasurable opportunities to learn from and be inspired by Black voices. Science does not occur in a vacuum. Numerous studies have shown the incredible value of diversity in research, teaching, and mentoring (https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/voices/diversity-in-stem-what-it-is-and-why-it-matters/). A more diverse, inclusive, and equitable team is both just and leads to better science. To foster a more just and equitable community and to improve science within labs, departments, universities, and society, we must embrace and foster diversity, social justice, and equity at all levels. Herpetologists’ League urges its members to 1) address their own actions and ideas by informing themselves about anti-racism and using anti-racist tools, 2) support efforts at their institutions and in their communities to ensure that their Black colleagues, students, and communities feel safe and valued, and 3) commit to taking actionable steps to nurture Black scientists and herpetologists in particular. The Herpetologists’ League’s leadership team and Diversity, Inclusivity, and Equity Committee have been and continue to actively work on actionable steps that we can take to provide long term support for these goals. We recognize that making statements during this time is only powerful if backed by concrete change and action.
We use and recommend the following resources to help achieve these three goals:
Anti-racism podcasts, books, articles, and videos:
New York Times anti-racist reading list
Detour Spotting for white anti-racists by Joan Olsson
Teaching resources and responding to protests
Herpetologists’ League Leadership and the
Diversity, Inclusivity, and Equity Committee