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Equity and Social Justice

W&M Geology's Commitment to Anti-Racism

We are heartbroken and outraged by the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, among too many others within the Black community. These acts of violence have forcibly brought the issues of systemic racism into the public eye. We cannot stay silent. 

As an organization with a platform to speak and educate, the W&M Geology Department stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and its goals of eradicating white supremacy and promoting social justice. We condemn anti-Black violence and all forms of racism, explicit and implicit. 

Within the sciences, the impacts of racism have limited the representation of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other marginalized communities. Geoscience can address the negative consequences of climate change and pollution, which disproportionately affect communities of color. Yet geology is among the least diverse STEM fields in the United States, and our department is no exception.

W&M Geology has embraced W&M Geology Principles of Community affirming that “diversity and inclusion are critical to maintaining excellence.” To uphold these principles, we must confront racism in our institutions and in ourselves. 

We commit to partnering with and amplifying the voices of marginalized groups in our community. We will listen to and support students, alumni, and geoscientists of color. In W&M Geology community meetings, we will have frank conversations about racism and inequity in the Geosciences. We will actively recruit faculty of color. We will ensure a diverse set of speakers, including Black geoscientists, for department seminars. We will address issues such as environmental racism and highlight scientists of color within the Geology curriculum, which will include a new COLL 350 course centered on difference, equity, and justice. 

W&M Geology stands with members of our community who are actively fighting injustice. We will always be here with our doors open to listen and advocate when you or others feel unsafe. We see you, hear you, and support you. We are dedicating ourselves to being anti-racist through education, engagement, and activism, and we are encouraging everyone who engages with our department to do the same. Here are some resources to start:

W&M Geology Student Climate Survey-- Results
W&M Geology Principles of Community