Combating Racism, Pursuing Justice: NE CASC Statement on Recent Events

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in its commitment to eradicating white supremacy and pursuing an inclusive, equitable, and just society. We condemn the systemic racism and bigotry that have plagued American society for centuries and remain a malignancy within our most powerful institutions. 

Combating racial injustice is essential to our work because environmental racism has rendered communities of color disproportionately vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.  Climate adaptation cannot succeed unless the structures of racial oppression are confronted and dismantled. 

On June 10th, we joined thousands of scholars across the STEM disciplines in pausing many of our normal research activities to reflect on current events and consider how we can more effectively bring about the just society we seek. During this process, we consulted the resources available at shutdownstem.com and strikeforblacklives.com. We found these sites useful springboards for further action and hope you will also engage with them.  

We also ask you to read the recent statements on this topic made by Nefertiti Walker, Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Kumble Subbaswamy, Chancellor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. We fully endorse these statements and look forward to working with UMass leadership as it expands university-wide efforts to improve our campus climate.

We are committed to heightening our awareness of systemic racism and disproportionate impacts of climate change on Black communities, Latino communities, Native American Tribal/First Nations, communities of color, and immigrant communities or any community where poverty and inequity compound the impacts of climate change. We are committed to building our team to represent communities impacted by climate change.  We are committed to listening and working closely with representatives and leaders from communities disproportionately impacted by climate change.  We are committed to giving our very best knowledge and resources to support communities in leading climate adaptation planning and resilience.