Black Lives Matter. A Commitment to Action from UCI ESS Faculty and Graduate Student Leaders

Dear ESS family,

In collaboration with grad students and faculty, we send our strong statement of solidarity and long-term commitment to ending anti-Black racism. This commitment is a starting point meant to initialize a continued dialogue and, through our actions, to move the ESS department in a direction of anti-racism. We intend this letter to be revised as we learn and hear more of the voices and needs of the community served by ESS.

First of all, where we stand: Black Lives Matter. We are heartbroken and outraged by the continued anti-Black racism and police brutality in this country, including in our local area. We recognize that many of us continue to benefit from white privilege, while other members of our ESS community have faced discrimination, microaggressions, overt racism, and police brutality to an extent that many of us cannot fully understand. We acknowledge that the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery were not isolated instances; that the officers responsible are not anomalies within an otherwise functioning law enforcement system, and we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement against these injustices. Lastly, we acknowledge that systemic racism and implicit biases are pervasive in academia, and we recognize our responsibility to change that system.

Second, what we are committing to:

Third, we acknowledge the intersectionality of Blackness with other aspects of identity. The above stances and commitments shall be broadened where relevant to other underrepresented minorities (URMs) and people of color in STEM.

Fourth, we want to share the resources and reporting structures available to anyone who experiences racism or other forms of discrimination on campus. The Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity has reporting information, including an anonymous option. Other resources include CARE and DECADE, as well as faculty and staff in ESS if you are comfortable:

Finally, support groups and other resources are available through the UCI Center for Black Cultures, Resources, and Research.  

Fifth, we recognize that individuals within our community may want to take additional actions.  Here are some ideas and resources:

Signed,

Kathleen R. Johnson,

Associate Professor and Vice-Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Eric Rignot,

Chair, Donald Bren and Chancellor's Professor of Earth System Science, and NAS Member

Isabella Velicogna,

Professor and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Equity, and Inclusion

Mathieu Morlighem,

Associate Professor and Vice-Chair of Undergraduate Studies

Jin-Yi Yu,

Professor and Vice-Chair of Graduate Studies

Steven Allison,

Professor of ESS and EEB, Director of Ridge to Reef Graduate Training Program

James Randerson,

Ralph J. and Carol M. Cicerone Professor and NAS Member

Katherine Mackey,

Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor and DECADE Faculty Mentor

Shane Coffield and Shivani Ehrenfeucht,

PhD Candidates and DECADE student representatives

Robert Fofrich, Audrey Odwuor, and Nicola Wiseman,

PhD Candidates/Students and Graduate Student Representatives

Julie Ferguson,

Associate Teaching Professor

Elizabeth Crook,

Assistant Teaching Professor

Michael Pritchard,

Associate Professor

Saewung Kim,

Associate Professor

Charlie Zender,

Professor

Eric Saltzman,

Professor

Gudrun Magnusdottir,

Professor

Ellen Druffel,

Fred Kavli Chair in Earth System Science, Distinguished Professor of ESS, and NAS Member

Benis Egoh,

Assistant Professor

Michael Goulden,

Professor

Susan Trumbore,

Professor and NAS Member

Alex Guenther,

Professor

Paulo Brando,

Assistant Professor

Claudia Czimzik,

Associate Professor

Steve Davis,

Associate Professor

Francois Primeau,

Professor

Michael Prather,

Professor

Adam Martiny,

Professor of ESS and EEB

Murat Aydin,

Associate Researcher

Efi Foufoula-Georgiou

Henry Samueli Endowed Chair, Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and ESS, member of NA

Yannick Peings,

Assistant Researcher

Keith Moore,

Professor