Abstract Detail

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

Williams, Tanisha [1], Cannon, Brandi [2], Makunga, Nokwanda [3], Halane, Morgan [4].

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

In the wake of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the numerous other people we mourn because of police brutality and racist violence, we must affirm that Black Lives Matter, and take actionable steps to dismantle systems of oppression. This includes recognizing the role biology has played in the pseudo-scientific justification of racism as articulated by such revered scientists as Carl Linnaeus and Comte de Buffon. Through this recognition, we can act to rectify racist ideologies that still proliferate in academia today and obtrude on? Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). This symposium draws on evidence-based research and pedagogical practices to address current inequities in science and cultivate a better future for BIPOC individuals and, ultimately, for all of us. Research supports that diversity leads to academic excellence, innovative problem solving, and better productivity. As an illustration of how diverse communities are strong communities, we have assembled a panel of confirmed speakers that span career stages, gender identity, ethnicities, and nationalities who will present on major themes imperative to improving our community. To cultivate a diverse and inclusive environment, this symposium addresses three major themes: representation, recruitment and retention, and anti-racist actions (e.g., doing the work to unlearn biases, learning the true history of how we got to this moment in history, and putting daily actions to your words). To improve the low number of matriculating BIPOC scientists, here we provide historical examples of Black botanists that can be utilized for representation in course curriculums, articulate the barriers to participating in science and retention, and conclude with anti-racist actionable steps that researchers and educators can integrate into their techniques. As we educate and improve our society through our research, here we have the opportunity to serve as model leaders in inclusion and anti-racist actions.

1 - Bucknell University, Biology, 1 Dent Drive, Lewisburg, PA, 17837, United States
2 - 735 Campus Drive, Apt 719 - EVGR B, Stanford, CA, 94305, United States
3 - Stellenbosch University, Department Of Botany And Zoology, Private Bag X1, Matieland, Stellenbosch, WC, 7600, South Africa
4 - 32-84 37th Street, Apt 2F, Astoria, NY, 11103, United States

none specified

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Number: S2SUM
Abstract ID:1253
Candidate for Awards:None

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