APAN Statement on Black Lives Matter

In light of the current, growing movement in response to racial inequality in the US and around the world, the APAN Programming and Organizing committees want to be clear that we stand in solidarity with Black and other Underrepresented Minorities, and we believe that Black Lives Matter.

We are acutely aware of disparities in opportunities for participation in research at all levels of education that result from the systemic and structural racism built into our institutions, and of how the behavior of our academic communities can exacerbate these dynamics. We aware that Black and other Underrepresented Minority scholars have unfairly faced barriers and discrimination in their work and careers, and that the voices of Black and other Underrepresented Minorities are often ignored. We are also aware that the problems go much deeper than that. We are aware that Black and other Underrepresented Minorities are unfairly victims of violence by law enforcement. And, we are aware that the COVID-19 pandemic is just the latest in a long line of health crises that has disproportionately impacted and taken the lives of Black and other Underrepresented Minorities. Awareness is not action, however.

Awareness is not enough. We recognize that dismantling racism is an obligation of everyone, not just People of Color. There can be no equality in science until we as scientists recognize the systemic bias in our community. We acknowledge that bias runs deep and commit to eradicating it.

APAN is committed to moving beyond awareness, especially in our own programming, research, collaborations, and outreach, which we recognize have failed to embody values of diversity and inclusion as much as they should. To reflect that commitment, we are working to create a plan of action to ensure that APAN is an anti-racist organization. We pledge to work at increasing the representation of Black and other Underrepresented Minorities in our meetings and communities. We pledge to amplify diverse voices in our events and collaborations in the coming years. APAN will proactively seek ways to include Black and other Underrepresented Minority members in our meetings and committees, and identify forums during our annual meeting to listen to diverse perspectives. Our 2021 meeting will be free and online, which we anticipate will diversify our attendance. Looking ahead, we are committed to focusing our travel-award scheme to provide funds for trainees from underrepresented groups.

We look forward to working with you –our APAN community– to implement a longer-term, concrete, action plan for improvement. We will openly share this plan with you as it unfolds.

We welcome and encourage any input from our community and membership about how APAN can best meet this challenge and to show that Black Lives Matter.