Anti-Racism Efforts in Cell Biology – A Start

June 11, 2020 by rls9ha@virginia.edu

All of us have been struggling to come to terms with the horror of George Floyd’s death and to confront the reality of continuing entrenched racism within our society.  Gustavo Pacheco, a student in our Medical Scientist Training Program now undertaking his doctoral research in Cell Biology, wanted to do something that would allow us to acknowledge the pain of our Black colleagues and give voice to all who are hurting and hungering for action.  Gustavo organized and moderated an online “Hour of Reflection” for all members of the Cell Biology community to come together and share their own experiences in a safe space and begin a constructive dialog to educate all of us on both overt and more pernicious forms of racism.  These efforts are described in a correspondence to Nature, written by Gustavo.  The Cell Biology community plans to continue our weekly discussions and we hope that Gustavo’s efforts will serve to inspire other Departments, Schools and institutions to consider ways to give voice to scientists of color and other minorities.