The death of George Perry Floyd Jr. on May 25, 2020 by police force was a painful reminder that racism and unequal opportunities remain an unsolved problem in our country. We reaffirm that the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS) is committed to be an antiracist space, however we also recognize that there is persistent underrepresentation of certain groups in our fields including Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and and People of Color (Bernard & Cooperdock, 2018) from the undergraduate level through to the faculty level where underrepresentation is particularly pronounced. Recent events have sparked discussion and reflection in the Department and ultimately a renewed focus on the importance of diversity.
As a first step we endorse The Call for Action (notimeforsilence.org), which has also been endorsed by our professional societies the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society. We have written a diversity statement setting out our position and strategic goals and starting this summer are engaging in
continuing discourse on creating an implementation plan to ensure that greater diversity is fostered and maintained in our Department. Whilst our fields have historically failed in representation of many groups our Department aims to lead as we move forward into a more diverse future for the Geosciences.
Bernard, R. E., & Cooperdock, E. H. (2018). No progress on diversity in 40 years. Nature Geoscience, 11(5), 292-295.