Statement from the Department of Microbiology & Immunology on Racism

Posted in Announcements

The Department of Microbiology & Immunology is deeply saddened and troubled by the ongoing racism and violence the Black community and other people of color continue to experience in the United States. 

Science is a mission to search objectively and without bias for truth, and the data are clear. A member of the Black community is 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than White Americans. Here in our Nation’s Capital, 45% of the population is Black but account for 75% of COVID-related deaths. Nationally, Black Americans represent only 6% of college and university faculty, despite making up 13% of the US population. Racial injustice is a thread running through the whole of our nation’s history, from its founding to the present. Acknowledging these numbers does not solve the problems of racism but is a necessary step in making progress. For those of us in positions of power and privilege, it is a reminder to both reflect and act.

We deeply value the community of scholars that make up our department and graduate programs. To our current and potential future trainees, in particular, you are the future of science and the future of academia. It is one of the great joys of our profession to support you as you grow and achieve your goals. While we still have a long road to trek, we reaffirm our commitment to building a diverse and inclusive environment, not only in name, but in action. We commit to continuing to recruit and support a diverse student body to grow the diversity in science, commit to reflecting the diversity of the scientific community in our seminar series, and commit to confronting injustices both at Georgetown and in our nation. Furthermore, we commit to an ongoing conversation with our faculty, staff, and students, and to foster an environment in which these conversations better our department and ourselves. In doing so, we also pledge to work together to create an environment where the voices of all who are marginalized are heard, amplified, and advocated for.  This is a traumatic moment for our nation and is particularly so for Black members of the Georgetown community. To our Black colleagues in this time of trauma and moving forward: we hear your voices, we see your struggles and pain, and we stand in solidarity with you.