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Combating Racial Injustice in our Department: A Message to all BCHM Students

Posted by on Friday, June 12, 2020 in Uncategorized.

To our fellow Biochemistry students,

As president and vice-president of the Biochemistry Student Association (BSA), Tata and I believe we have a responsibility for the well-being of all of our students. The recent events surrounding racial injustice and acts of violence committed against George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, among many others, have brought about pain to many of our department members. Moreover, the events of the past two weeks have drawn nationwide attention to racism and discrimination at many levels, including in academia and science. Now is a better time than ever for us to discuss and enact changes that our department can take to solve and prevent racial injustice in our community.

The BSA has already been thinking of ways in which we can combat racial injustice. To this point, we sent a letter this morning to the Biochemistry Department leadership; this letter is attached for your viewing. In this letter, the BSA stated that we will hold our leadership accountable and asked them to take concrete actions toward combating racial injustice in our department. We also included actionable items as initial steps for the leadership to consider carrying out. Importantly, this letter was only a first step, and the BSA plans to do more.

One of our jobs as leaders of the BSA is to hear you and advocate on your behalf. With this in mind, Tata and I would like to hear your thoughts, ideas, or opinions on problems of racial injustice in our department or in science and academia as a whole. After listening to you, we can direct our focus and take action on the items that we all think will make an impact and drive us toward better future. We would like to invite you all to join us for a zoom conference on Tuesday morning, the invite for this is directly below.

Topic: Student Meeting to Discuss Racial Injustice in our Community

Time: Jun 16, 2020 09:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

https://vanderbilt.zoom.us/j/91766112769?pwd=ZDAybVVER0FnNTlNWktGbi9aeENvdz09

[See email for the password, redacted here for security]

I want to conclude by saying that our department has been through a lot in the past six months. We have demonstrated that we are a resilient group and we are all proud of this. This resilience gives us hope that we can bring about change and shows us that we are fully capable of tackling issues of racial injustice in science and academia. We need to and have a responsibility to take action.

Sincerely,

Tyler Hansen, BSA President

Tata Kavlashvili, BSA Vice President

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