Continuing the BLM Movement – Statement & Action Items

To download infographics with hyperlinks intact, see below.

Dear members of SPG at UCLA, 

We as scientists are often taught to be impartial. However, we cannot ignore the existence of systemic racism and the role that it has played in the history of science and policy. We are upset, we are angry, and we utterly condemn the continued marginalization and targeting of Black people that results from senseless racial biases.

We cannot view our academic endeavors as an effort to better society if we choose to compartmentalize recent events. In the past, we have been too concerned with how to have impartial conversations about broken systems. We have made insufficient space for those who most heavily bear the weight of issues we discuss to actually lead those conversations. We have to do better.

We are focusing on a series of tangible efforts aimed at addressing systemic racial inequality, especially as it relates to science policy: 

  • We are seeking to become more antiracist and educate ourselves and our members on the intersections of science policy and racism in America
  • We will be sending out relevant science policy resources and hosting a speaker seminar to address topics concerning the history and current failures of equity and policing, including:
    • How is large-scale structural change achieved?
    • What is the research on equity in policing? Can it be effectively used to reduce police violence? 
    • We will also focus on LA specifically, including topics such as resource allocation for public health and public safety; budget creation; health and justice outcomes; and how science does/does not inform all of the above in our own city.

In our speaker series, we commit to amplifying the voices of Black scientists and policy researchers. We will uplift and support the efforts of local Black-led organizations at UCLA and in Los Angeles that are working to end racial injustice and violence. We will also facilitate dialogues with policymakers and candidates on their plans for using data to build better policies that combat racial injustice and violence. 

What you can do right now:

  1. Take a look at the attached infographic on actions you can take right now from your home
  2. Vote on whether SPG at UCLA should stand with faculty protesting the use of the UCLA Jackie Robinson Stadium for LAPD detainment of protestors
  3. Sign UCLA student letter
  4. Sign the Afrikan Student Union petition to adjust finals
  5. Watch or read our Q&A with two of the candidates for LA County District Attorney, Rachel Rossi and George Gascon. George Gascon is still on the ballot in November. We will be talking more about this race, as it has a direct effect on police reform and violence. 

We welcome your input and ideas as we do our part to tackle this complex and long-ingrained issue. Please point us in the right direction. We are committed to continuing this dialogue in the long term.

Sincerely, and in solidarity,

The Science Policy Group at UCLA

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