April 21, 2021 Regarding Derek Chauvin's Conviction
April 21, 2021
Dear FHL Community,
Yesterday, April 20th, our community and the rest of the world watched as Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges for the murder of George Floyd.
We watched history unfold as a police officer was held accountable for the murder of a black man. George Floyd was murdered. He did not sacrifice his life; he did not make way for a cultural movement; his life was taken too soon. No verdict or trial will bring Mr. Floyd back to his family, nor will it dismantle the deep rooted racism that is systematically built into the policing of this country. This conviction is only a step in the movement, and it does bring relief.
The trial and its aftermath highlight the trauma that plagues many members of our community. We all deserve to live in a world assured that our family and friends are safe and protected. Real change and true justice will only come as we recognize that our black and brown family, friends, colleagues, and beyond do not live in that reality.
Yesterday, justice was served and progress was made. This was not the case for Rodney King, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and many other black men and women. There is still much work to be done in dismantling systems of oppression in America and in our own community. This can only be done by demanding accountability of those in power who chose to act without impunity.
The DEI Committee
June 18, 2020 Regarding the Black Lives Matter Movement
June 18, 2020:
Dear FHL community,
The murders of Mr. George Floyd, Ms. Breonna Taylor, and many more Black men, women, transgender, and queer people at the hands of law enforcement have once again highlighted the racism built into the structure of our country. At FHL, we have been reflecting on our historical and current role in this violent and discriminatory system. We recognize that we have only just begun to do the work necessary to deconstruct the racism that is pervasive in STEM and academia at large. Our jobs now are to acknowledge these uncomfortable truths and commit to making real change going forward.
In March of 2020, we established FHL’s first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee which consists of staff, faculty, postdoctoral, and graduate student representatives. Simply forming a committee is not enough; we are dedicated to pursuing actionable change in partnership with community members, FHL, and UW leadership. The FHL Director as well as the President of UW have indicated the need to support this work in their statements to the community. In the coming weeks and months, we will be outlining concrete actions the committee will take and steps forward as we advocate for support and equity for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) at FHL.
As we begin this long overdue work at FHL, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of our members to give feedback, address concerns, or talk about our plans. You may learn more on the FHL DEI committee web page, which will be updated continuously to reflect our work and contact information.
Friday Harbor Laboratories Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee