Dear EEB community,
The horrific issues of racism and police misconduct grabbing our attention lately are not news to the black members of our department, who experience it their entire lives. This racism, whether overt or unconscious, is present in our department, our field, and in our community.
As Dean Lee stated in her message to the college, systemic changes to fight racism must also happen at levels outside our college. But change must happen here in EEB, as well. This motivates me to ask what we can change to increase the safety and security of African-Americans in EEB and beyond. To make changes and move in the right direction, the department needs everyone’s blunt and honest input.
We are a department motivated by science and facts – we seek to learn. Many in our department, including me, experience undue privilege and security relative to our African-American friends, neighbors, and co-workers, merely because we are white. We need each other to identify and change the racism in our society.
Please give us your ideas and feedback. You should have received this message, with a link to a survey, in your UT email. You can also contact me directly.
I also encourage you to investigate formal reporting for incidents occurring at UT:
Finally, we can all make strides and become effective allies. I encourage you to read the following article: A guide to how you can support marginalized communities.
We are one community and need to support each another.
Professor and Head
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology