Dear members of our scientific community,
As members of the Cranston Research Group, we stand against racism in all forms and commit to working towards a more inclusive, equitable and diverse scientific community. We recognize that both systemic and individual racism exist within our community. Systemic racism is entrenched in our established institutions and results in the exclusion or promotion of designated groups. Opportunities have been withheld from Black People and other Persons of Colour throughout academic history, the effects of which are reflected in the current lack of representation of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) population in academia. Additionally, individual racism, by which racist beliefs and behaviours are propagated, is apparent within our academic communities (see #blackintheivory on Twitter).
We would also like to acknowledge the history of colonialism in Canada and the resulting propagation of systemic racism in our academic institutions. The land on which we gather and study is located on the traditional territories of the Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations (McMaster University) and the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) People (University of British Columbia). As a research group, it is our responsibility to be aware of the foundations on which our scientific communities have been established in order to take action against further injustices.
Our research group commits to identifying and denouncing systemic and individual racism while striving to build a more supportive scientific community. We will do so by:
- Upholding a standard for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), and anti-oppression education for all current and future group members and encouraging these learnings to extend beyond the workplace. The group will attend anti-racism training(s) and presentation(s).
- Holding a minimum of one meeting every three months dedicated to discussing racism where we will share pertinent information and stories related to racial injustice with a focus on its presence in academia, with the aim of educating and improving our understanding and conduct.
- Challenging ourselves, and our community, to recognize, understand and correct any inequities we may discover. We will not let racist and unjust behaviour pass us by and will aim to better understand ourselves during this process.
- Amplifying the voice of BIPOC researchers by citing their work, initiating collaborations and inviting them to speak at conferences and seminars.
- Committing to best practices in EDI for hiring students and postdocs, including: ensuring job descriptions are written with inclusive language and are widely advertised to special interest groups to ensure diversity in the pool of applicants; using the same equitable assessment process/interview questions for all candidates; requiring all shortlists to include at least one racialized minority; and staying current on unconscious bias training.
- Encouraging thoughtful dialogue to address issues of individual and group racism and using such dialogue as a learning opportunity for all stakeholders involved. Additionally, we will celebrate diversity by participating in community events that foster multiculturalism, and sharing such opportunities for learning with our colleagues and the broader scientific community (e.g. through our group website and Twitter).
We recognize that changing deep rooted systemic beliefs is an ongoing process and we want to reaffirm our commitment to continuously learning and holding each other accountable. Correcting inequalities is a daily responsibility that must be carried out with intention to dismantle systemic racism and oppression within our communities. We realize that this will be an uncomfortable and challenging process, yet one that is necessary to help accomplish the goals of equity, diversity, and inclusion within academia. Only when the academic community equally empowers all races and backgrounds can science work towards reaching its full potential.
The Cranston Research Group
Suggested resource (a compiled list of useful resources to come soon):