Abstract Detail

Black Botanical Legacy: Fostering a Community of Equity in Botanical Sciences

Allen (Shamsid-Deen), Maya L. [1].

Planting Seeds for the Future: Cultivating an Anti-Racist Environment Starts Now.

In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist. - Angela Davis
In this talk, I discuss anti-racism theory as articulated by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and its applications for improving the botanical science community. Rather than focusing on the individual as done in Dr. Kendi’s most recent work, I discuss how these principles can be applied in our science, teaching, mentorship, and museum work, while summarizing the current evidence that supports such tactics. I frame the importance of anti-racist work using Targeted Universalism Theory, whereby the existence of racist policies is a shared problem for humankind and collective action is necessary. An understanding of leading theories that dissect current social structures and articulate resolutions is essential to capitalize on the 2020 commitments universities, scientific societies, and funding agencies have made to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. It behooves us as scientists to address these initiatives systematically from a well-informed perspective. We stand to benefit from anti-racist advancements in our lives as racism impacts society as a whole. It not only disenfranchises the minoritized but also impacts the oppressor. We stand to benefit in our research and teaching as diversity leads to academic excellence, innovative problem solving, and better productivity. Furthermore, as botanists we benefit from improving the livelihoods of future generations not only through our work to understand the botanical world, but also through improvements to professional and societal environments by dismantling systems of oppression.

1 - University Of New Mexico, UNM Biology, Castetter Hall 1480 MSC03-2020, 219 Yale Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87131, United States

Black Botanists Week

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Number: S2008
Abstract ID:439
Candidate for Awards:None

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