a statement from the NCS executive team

The MAA NCS board would like to share the following message in response to George Floyd's murder and the subsequent protests for racial justice:

For our black students:
 We see you. We hear you. We are listening. You are valuable. Your being and your experience are important. The murder of George Floyd and systemic disregard for black life and humanity is wrong.  We acknowledge and share in the righteous anger towards police brutality, institutional racism, and white privilege. We resolve to listen for and lift up your voices to build a just and equitable society. #BlackLivesMatter.  

For our students: Our community needs you. There are groups within mathematics that are working to address systemic racism, white privilege, and other inequities within and outside mathematics. (See this statement from the MAA). In particular, Data For Black Lives, the National Association of Mathematicians, #disruptmath on twitter are places to connect and start. You bring promise for a better future and we hope that you will consider contributing your skills, knowledge, and energy to these and other organizations.

You are not alone. You can read profiles of black, Latinx, and LGBTQIA current mathematicians from Mathematically Gifted and Black, Lathisms, #UniqueScientists, and profiles from Living Proof: Stories of Resilience Along the Mathematical Journey. We hope these will provide understanding and encouragement for you, and our community as we grow and move forward together. 

For the MAA-NCS Community: Many of us live and work near the site where George Floyd was murdered. The subsequent protests here and across the nation have called us to address existing institutional racism and white privilege.  The current pandemic has exacerbated racial inequities as well. There is so much to unpack that calls our immediate and sustained attention.

This time comes at the end of an extraordinary semester of emergency online teaching.  You may be wrapping up your teaching and starting research projects. As a first step, please check in with your students - especially your BIPOC students - and make sure they know that they are valued and are safe within our community..

We ask you to lean in to this moment. Support our BIPOC colleagues and students by standing in solidarity with them.  As a Section our past efforts to support BIPOC colleagues and students has been far from adequate.  We apologize, and more importantly are committed to doing better. We are listening. We hear you. We see you.

We encourage you to reflect on your pedagogy and teaching practice. For our BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and female identifying students, mathematics and our classrooms may not be a welcoming place. We know that there are deep inequities in the educational system that require sustained time and effort. Commit to anti-racism work, self-examination, and dedicated development in your teaching so our classrooms are spaces where everyone is safe and their experiences are valued.

There are lots of places to start and find more information, especially including statements from the MAA leadership and the MAA Committee on Minority Participation, or the ones mentioned above.

Finally, we hope you will join us in engaging in this anti-racism work as a Section: at NCS-MAA events in the future, or from the national MAA.

In solidarity,

The MAA NCS Board

Megan Breit-Goodwin
Shawn Chiappetta
Jason Douma
Donna Flint
Sarah Jahn
Justin James
Jonathan Rogness
Rob Thompson
Aaron Wangberg
John Zobitz

 

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