Black Women of 500 Women Scientists Leadership Team: Open Letter

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

To our fellow Black women, sisters, friends, & confidants,

We felt compelled to take time to express our collective grief, outrage, disappointment, and utter exasperation about the state of affairs facing Black folks in the United States, and more broadly, around the world. As we write this, protestors are fighting in Nigeria to end the brutalization at the hands of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad #EndSARS. We stand strongly with our sisters and brothers in realizing that a threat to a Black person anywhere, is a threat to Black people everywhere.

Breonna Taylor was killed by police in the United States and recently, her family was denied justice as so many of the Black women, men, trans folks, and others, are routinely denied. We are shown time and time again that Black lives do not matter, even though we are told constantly that they do. We know with certainty that the criminal system is unjust. We know that white supremacy still exists. We know that the oppression we face is a culmination of hundreds of years of and systematic measures created with the sole purpose to eliminate us. In response, we will help set these systems on fire under the banner of 500 Women Scientists. We as a people are so resilient, so beautiful, so powerful, so intelligent. And while we wish we did not have to be resilient and that the world acted as if it deserved us, we would not trade being Black any day of the week — not even on our hardest days.

There is nothing we can say that has not already been beautifully stated. We are working as a group to figure out how to best leverage our amazing and powerful organization of 500 Women Scientists to ensure that we honestly and earnestly live up to our mission to transform society by fighting racism, patriarchy, and oppressive societal norms. If you have ideas or would like to join our efforts, please email info@500womenscientists.org with the subject line “Protect Black Women”.

We stand with all the Black folks around the world; we fight beside you, for us all; we see you and we will do our part in helping to protect us.

And we will continue to #SayHerName until we can no longer speak because in the words of the fierce and remarkable Audre Lorde, our silence will not protect us.

With love, light, and endless determination,

Black Women Collective of 500 Women Scientists Leadership

P.S. To our non-Black colleagues and supporters, feel free to donate to our Fellowship for the Future program which would help us continue to support Black women, and more broadly, Women of Color (WoC). If you would like to dedicate your donation in honor of these efforts specifically, please comment “Protect Black Women” in the message box.

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