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WATERLINE - September, 2020

WALPA Statement on Black Lives Matter

We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement, as it seeks to gain broader recognition of the discrimination and injustice facing not only Black Americans, but also Indigenous peoples and People of Color. We acknowledge that science has historically failed to represent the diversity of faces and voices of our communities. We must fight racial injustices and inequities. We stand with our colleagues in acknowledgement of the necessity of action.1 2 3

Our initial goal is for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) members of WALPA to feel heard, accepted, and safe; and to acknowledge, confront and correct any inequities we discover within WALPA. We commit to identifying and implementing actions that will help to achieve this goal. We recognize that the burden of fixing systemic and structural racism in science should not fall on the backs of BIPOC members – we can use our platform to effect change. We propose the following actions: 

  • create a committee on diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • survey membership to better understand the needs of BIPOC scientists;
  • eliminate barriers to participation in annual meetings;
  • develop relationships and outreach with schools and organizations that promote diversity in science.4

While this is an important start, it is only a start and we know that together we will continue to make our field of study and our society as inclusive as possible.

We invite all members to join our newly formed committee on improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in WALPA. Please email your interest to Sally Abella (sally.abella@gmail.com) or Angela Strecker (strecka2@wwu.edu).

1Society for Freshwater Science: https://freshwater-science.org/news/presidents-environment-watershed-moment-social-change-in-sfs-action-required

2Society of Canadian Limnologists/Canadian Conference for Fisheries Research: http://socanlimnol.ca/

3Association for the Science of Limnology and Oceanography: https://www.aslo.org/creating-a-socially-just-science/

4For example, the Ecological Society of America’s SEEDS program, Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), MSI (minority serving institutions), and tribal colleges