Letter to the community

Dear ecological community,

We reach out to you today in sadness and solidarity. Recent acts of violence against the Black community as seen in the horrific killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, have sparked protests across the United States. They underscore the long history of racism and discrimination in our country. Racism and prejudice continue to harm scientists, future scientists, and the communities they serve. We echo the message of these protests: Black lives matter.

Ecology, like other scientific disciplines, is and has been dominated by white faces and voices. Ecologists can and must do more to fight structural and societal injustices. We all must stand up and speak out when we see racial injustice and how it impacts our colleagues. Black ecologists are subjected to racial bias while working at field sites, at meetings, in labs and classrooms, and in life: Our students and our colleagues have been stopped and questioned about their right to be on public lands while doing research or in other public spaces based on their skin color alone. This must stop.

As a professional society, ESA commits to redoubling our efforts to challenge and break down inequities as we advance the science and practice of ecology. This will not be the last you hear from us – this is an ongoing, long-term commitment and we will be updating our community on our efforts.

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Osvaldo Sala Laura Huenneke Kathleen Weathers Catherine O’Riordan
President Immediate Past President President Elect Executive Director


Here’s a preliminary and non-exhaustive list of resources and actions you can take today:

Attend ESA’s listening session on Wednesday, 6/3 – Community Meeting: Speaking of Race

Donate to the Black Lives Matter movement

Donate to the Black Visions Collective

Donate to the Community Bail Fund for Louisville

Donate to ESA’s SEEDS program

75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice

Unlearning Racism/Learning Antiracism

How Faculty Hiring Committees Reproduce Whiteness and Practical Suggestions for How They Can Change

Talking with your labs

Incorporating anti-racist pedagogy