An open letter to MRS university chapters: Black Lives Matter.

An open letter to MRS university chapters:

Dear fellow MRS University Chapters, 

Black Lives Matter.

We, the Boston University MRS chapter, acknowledge the ways in which our institutions of science are rooted in and uphold white supremacy. The Materials Research Society chapters aim to support “students [who] represent the next generation of materials research and are preparing to carry the torch forward, advancing materials and improving the quality of life” (MRS). It is critical that we recognize and challenge which students are systematically enabled to participate in this mission and whose lives science enriches.

Furthermore, Dr. Brian Nord and Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, organizers of #Strike4BlackLives, question our community’s common response to diversity:

“Why is productivity the motivation for supporting diversity or for maintaining a high-quality work environment? Why isn’t our humanity enough?

As such, we take a very small first step and pledge to donate our member rebate funds this year to Black Girls Code and Campaign Zero. We challenge other chapters to engage with and support organizations lifting up Black lives and voices. We reject the idea that science is apolitical and instead recognize our own roles, even as graduate students, in dismantling systems of oppression and anti-Black racism in STEM.

In solidarity,

The Boston University MRS Chapter Executive Board

Abigail Rendos

Ben Levitas

Jillian Rix

Peco Myint

Michelle Sugimoto

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