June 3, 2020
Statement from program leaders at the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
On May 25 we witnessed the death of George Floyd, a Black man being detained by police in Minneapolis. Mr. Floyd’s death brings the epidemic of racism into sharp focus. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and all other persons, families, and communities enduring the pain from similar atrocities. We acknowledge that some of our SOEST family have been directly affected by these deaths and we stand with them.
The School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa condemns discrimination and harassment in any form. We stand with and support our Black colleagues, faculty, staff and students and those who experience hate, bigotry, or discrimination on the basis of personal characteristics or choices. Black lives matter. We are actively working to build and promote an anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-discriminatory environment within which all persons can feel safe and be safe every day throughout their time in our school.
Our work toward equity and inclusion includes:
- SOEST Maile Mentoring Bridge Program: founded in 2013 to foster a nurturing learning environment for underrepresented minorities in SOEST;
- SOEST Director of, and Council on, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Rear Admiral (Ret.) Anita Lopez, Director of Marine Operations, chairs the newly created Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, that has surveyed the SOEST working environment and drafted a school-wide code of conduct;
- Participation in the OSU Search Advocate Workshop (Spring 2020): Training faculty to recognize and actively dismantle implicit biases in faculty hiring.
As an institution dedicated to advancing the ideals and principles of learning, mentoring, research, and service, we affirm the benefits of, and the need to be advocates for, diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion. We acknowledge our collective history, including the racism underlying the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom, and the need for compassion, understanding and empathy in our daily relationships. These events are opportunities to reflect on our own behaviors and actions and to further educate ourselves on the historical context underlying institutional racism in America.
We also acknowledge that Black scientists and other underrepresented minorities face specific challenges in conducting their science. New York Audubon Society board member Christian Cooper’s recent experience while birding in Central Park exemplified this. These incidents can cause pain and feelings of isolation. We stand against these negative incidents and we are dedicated to making the SOEST environment a place of inclusion.
The SOEST community is committed to promoting social justice and equality in all forms, at all times. As individuals, and collectively, SOEST staff, students, faculty, and administrators recognize no limits to our support of one another without judgement or bias as we build a diverse, respectful, and inclusive space for all members of our community to thrive. We ask you all to stand with us in unity against racism and discrimination.
- Rosie Alegado, Director, Maile Mentoring Bridge Program, and Associate Professor, Department of Oceanography and University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program
- Juanita Andaya, Director of Administrative Services
- Steven Businger, Chair and Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
- Megan J. Donahue, Co-Director, Marine Biology Graduate Program, and Researcher, Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology
- Chip Fletcher, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Professor, Department of Earth Sciences
- Jennifer Griswold, Acting Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
- Michael Guidry, Undergraduate Chair, Global Environmental Science, and Specialist, Department of Oceanography
- Dave M. Karl, Director, Daniel K. Inouye Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education, and Professor, Department of Oceanography
- Judith Lemus, Director, Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology
- Darren T. Lerner, Director, University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program, and University Consortium Director, Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center
- Anita Lopez, Director of Marine Operations, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Douglas S. Luther, Director, Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, and Professor, Department of Oceanography
- Margaret McFall-Ngai, Director and Professor, Pacific Biosciences Research Center
- Margaret McManus, Chair and Professor, Department of Oceanography
- Eva Marie Nosal, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Ocean and Resources Engineering
- Christopher Sabine, Interim Associate Dean for Research, and Professor, Department of Oceanography
- Heather Saito, Director of Academic Advising
- Niklas Schneider, Director, International Pacific Research Center, and Professor, Department of Oceanography
- Brian Taylor, Dean
- Paul Wessel, Chair and Professor, Department of Earth Sciences
- Rob Wright, Interim Director, Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology