On June 2, the LTER Executive Board shared the following message with all members of the LTER community:
Dear LTER Community,
As millions of people raise their voices in response to the killing of George Floyd, we are filled with grief and anger and reminded how far we still are from the fair and just society to which we aspire. These recent events are not isolated incidents, but only the latest and most visible in an ongoing assault on Black communities. As individuals, many of us are acting in our own communities to institute real change, but we know that our organizations, too, can do better.
As part of the LTER community — as site and network leaders — we share the outrage, grief, and fear that many are feeling and reaffirm our commitment to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all network researchers, students, and staff. Please contact team leadership, site leadership, or network leadership with any concerns.
The LTER Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is developing and sharing resources for improving recruitment, mentoring, and practical support of minority researchers, as well as building community and expanding leadership opportunities. We do this work both because our moral obligation to fairness and equity requires it and because leaving talent untapped throttles scientific progress. We welcome participation, ideas, and resource suggestions from across the network.
We are also conscious that the current intensity of feelings may make research and study more difficult for many. We encourage program leaders to make allowances where possible and to create spaces for community discussion.
We recommit — at this painful juncture in history — to challenging individual and institutional biases wherever we encounter them and to nurturing justice, dignity, and opportunity for all.
Finally, the Ecological Society of America is hosting a listening session on June 3 at 4 pm EST that will provide an opportunity for further consideration of these issues and paths forward.