We, the Applied Biodiversity Science (ABS) Program, stand with the groundswell of voices led by Black Lives Matter who demand social change in the form of social justice and a dismantling of racial barriers in the United States. We recognize the need for institutional change of white power structures and privilege within academia, and understand the role we hold as academics to promote and safeguard equitable and fair treatment among our students and colleagues. The changes needed are long overdue and the loss of countless Black lives should not have been the precedent for action. The historical systems of oppression reach far beyond police brutality and that includes the realms of academia and conservation science. As a group of young conservation scientists and well-established faculty, we recognize our profession has systematically ignored or failed to adequately address the negative impacts of conservation practices on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). We recognize our complicit role in upholding a white power structure by not actively challenging the systems of oppression as they manifest in academia and our fields of study. The ABS Program acknowledges the need for structural change and is committed to creating an environment that fosters support and inclusion of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) within our community. We stand in solidarity with and support our BIPOC faculty, staff, colleagues, and students. Not just today and tomorrow, but far into the future as well.
The ABS Community