ASM Calls for Equality and UnityDear ASM members,
Recent events in the U.S. have made it clear that we, as a community, have a long way to go in embracing equality. The brutal and shocking deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are unacceptable and must be met with policies and actions that ensure such horrific events will not happen again.
George Floyd's words haunt us all — I can't breathe. ASM stands in solidarity with the Black community and in the fight against racism and injustice. We need to build a society where every one of us can breathe.
Numerous research studies highlight inequities in health and in our healthcare system, and the Covid-19 pandemic has just exacerbated the health disparity in this country - African Americans are nearly twice as likely to die from Covid-19 compared to others in the U.S. population. To defeat this virus that threatens humanity, and ensure that our most vulnerable communities are getting the care they need, we must also protect all of humanity by fighting against inequality.
An essential part of ASM's mission is to build a scientific community that embraces diversity – a home that celebrates researchers from different backgrounds to share their findings, engage in scientific discourse and demonstrate their scientific expertise. Ensuring a diverse workforce is not just the fair and equitable thing to do, but it also enhances innovation, broadens the health research agenda and furthers scientific advancement. A critical component of this includes fighting social injustice, racial disparities and inequities prevalent in our society.
As a scientific society, we know we have an opportunity to make a change, which is why ASM leadership has been working with our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Taskforce to promote a culture of inclusion. Through the DEI Taskforce, we are listening to the entire community to better understand the current state of diversity within ASM and how to ensure growth and sustainability. As a first step in implementing lasting change within ASM, we are launching a survey on June 8th to assess your perception of ASM's efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion.
We are also continuing to advocate for policies that embrace and promote equality and inclusion in science and allow underrepresented minorities in STEM careers to advance to their full potential.
We recognize this is a challenging time, and we want you to know that we are all in this together, committed to changing the world through the power of science and advocacy. We ask that you make a personal commitment to advancing a culture of antiracism and equality in a way that is peaceful with a common goal in mind: a society where we all can breathe freely.
Chief Executive Officer, ASM