Dear members of NAGT and the Geoscience community:
We affirm unequivocally that Black lives matter. Recent racial violence committed against the Black community, including the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and the weaponized racism against Christian Cooper, among too many other Black lives lost, follows a history of hundreds of years of racial injustice in the United States. These tragedies are not isolated events and are compounded by the current pandemic, which also brings to the fore the inequities in our healthcare and social systems for people of color. The Black community and other people of color suffer daily under oppression and threats of white supremacy, and neither the scientific nor the education communities are immune to these threats.To our Black colleagues and community members: You are seen. You are heard. You are valued.
Our duty as geoscientists and educators includes the work to end racism in all its forms, not just where it is expressed as violence against people of color, but also microaggressions and implicit bias. We call on NAGT members to take anti-racist action that supports Black people and communities of color and helps bring an end to racial injustice: seek out and amplify the voices that have been unheard in our communities; stop racism where we see it - in the field, in the classroom, in our approach to research and teaching; use our privilege to stand up against the continued marginalization and exclusion of people of color.
In our organization, in our professional work, and in our personal lives, we must do better. As we strive to build an Earth-literate society, so too should we strive to build a just society. NAGT is fully committed to anti-racist efforts in support of Black people and people of color as we pursue our mission to build and maintain a "diverse, inclusive, and thriving community of educators and education researchers to improve teaching and learning about the Earth."
NAGT is deepening its commitment to transforming into an agent of change to end white supremacy and racial injustice. The recently formed NAGT Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is working to formalize our priorities and outline concrete actions that we can enact towards the goal of creating a more equitable and inclusive society. We will be in touch in the coming weeks to keep you informed of this work and to welcome your thoughts and suggestions regarding the path forward. We look forward to working together to advance racial literacy and equity. We have much to learn from you and our affiliated and peer organizations, and we are listening and making space for these conversations, and will continue to do so moving forward.Sincerely,
Anne Egger, Executive Director, NAGT
Karen Viskupic, President, NAGT
Members of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee of NAGT