Black Lives Matter.
The Feschotte Lab condemns anti-Black racism in all its facets, including the continued harassment, intimidation, and murder of Black people. We are determined to fight against the pervasive racism in the United States, including in academia. We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and rekindle our commitment to fight against racism.
Cornell’s leadership has also denounced this slew of racism and violence. It is time to act, and the most effective responses will come not just from our leadership, but from each and every one of us – faculty, staff, researchers, and students.
Therefore, in the Feschotte lab we have taken the following steps:
- Hold a monthly meeting dedicated to discuss and reflect on social, historical and political events that threaten justice, inclusion and equality. Our first meetings will be focused on understanding the roots of racism in society and science, including our home field of genetics, and developing remedial actions we can take as a lab to help eradicate these issues.
- Require all mentors to become educated on workplace practices that promote an equitable environment and create a place where all students and trainees feel valued, supported, and welcome. We are currently exploring online and Cornell-centric educational sources.
- Pool and disseminate anti-racist and egalitarian resources within and outside the lab via multimedia interfaces
- Compile and advertise funding opportunities for potential high-school, undergrad, grad, and post-grad scientists with an emphasis on programs focusing on underrepresented minorities. We are also exploring the creation of our own fellowship system using discretionary funds available to the Feschotte lab, to increase access for independent undergraduate research.
- Increase lab outreach into the community, through GRASSHOPR, REU, and other local networks.
- Advocate for the enrichment of departmental diversity through recruiting and retaining minority grad students, such as creating an MBG diversity preview event (as done in EEB/IPS) and the hiring of Black and other underrepresented researchers and faculty
Higher education, STEM, MBG, and our own lab suffer from a lack of diversity. Our response is woefully past due, but we are committed to improving ourselves, our lab, and our institution, so that STEM may benefit from the wealth of experience that humanity has to offer.
Cédric Feschotte and current members of the laboratory