Dear CSULB BUILD Fellows, Scholars, and Alumni,
BLACK LIVES MATTER.
We wish to convey a message of support for our Black communities, however limited. We understand that this statement cannot capture all of the pain and suffering that they have experienced.
The recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop and others and the associated coverage by the media have greatly deepened the wounds already inflicted on our Black communities over the centuries. It has been 57 years since Martin Luther King Jr’s, “I Have A Dream” speech in 1963. The ensuing protests and civil unrest have reminded the nation, there is still much work to be done to address anti-Black racism in this country. We all have been shaken after months of fighting COVID-19, which has been labeled the biggest public health crisis in modern history. However, we know that anti-Black racism across the world has been an ongoing pandemic spanning across hundreds of years. The political divide, the resurgence of white supremacy movements, and murder of our Black community members without penalty, compels us to take actions for real, lasting change.
To our Black Fellows, Scholars, and Alumni, all of us in the CSULB BUILD Program, the PIs, Training Directors, and Staff want you to know YOUR LIVES MATTER. We remain committed to examining and educating ourselves on our own perceptions of race and biases. We also acknowledge the multiple layers of marginalization and privilege that span across skin color, race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, abilities, national origins, and immigration status. We will continue to fight for access and equity in higher education.
To our current trainees, we began our summer training this week under challenging circumstances. We will continue to create and maintain a safe place in BUILD where we listen to you and support you. We will be intentional in our training for both students and faculty mentors that reflects our commitment to challenge and change inherent biases and racist practices deeply embedded in the sciences and academia.
To our alumni, we are thinking about you, as families do when their grown children move away. We are actively working on ways to support you as you navigate the racial terrain in your professional endeavors. Please know that we are always here for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
All of you have joined the CSULB BUILD Family because of your quest for scientific knowledge and desire to make a difference in your communities and society at large. We reiterate our commitment to train and support you to become researchers and leaders who will address social injustice and eliminate racial disparities. We are proud of all of you and hope you will let your pride in yourselves shine brightly.
We stand united with the Black community in love, hope, and solidarity.
CSULB BUILD Program