On June 10, 2020, we will #ShutDownAcademia, #ShutDownSTEM, and #Strike4BlackLives.

#ShutDownSTEM is, as explained on shutdownstem.com, “an initiative from a multi-identity, intersectional coalition of STEM professionals and academics taking action for Black lives.” STEM researchers, students, leaders, and support teams are encouraged to use the day to engage in the fight for equity, inclusion, diversity, and the fair and equal treatment of marginalized communities.

Many Science units have developed programming to allow their community to learn, discuss, and take action to confront longstanding systemic racism in our fields and in our lives. These events build on—and would not be possible without—the long history of Black activism, scholarship, and leadership in the fight for Black lives. The goal for tomorrow is “to enable education, action, and healing on racism and other forms of injustice” by learning, taking action, reflecting, healing, and resting, and generally using the time to consider appropriate plans forward to enact necessary change.

We all have a responsibility to listen to and to support members of the Black community within MIT and beyond, to acknowledge and to reflect on our own accountability, and to continue to work together to improve equity in academia and STEM.

Where possible, we hope STEM researchers, students, leaders and support teams join us to #ShutDownSTEM, #ShutDownAcademia and #Strike4BlackLives. Note: “#ShutDownSTEM is aimed at the broad research community who is not directly participating in ending the global pandemic, COVID-19.” 

Learn more about #ShutDownSTEM here:  https://www.shutdownstem.com/ and follow #ShutDownSTEM on social media, including our Facebook and Twitter.

How the School of Science community and MIT are participating in #ShutDownSTEM:

Note: This is an incomplete list and in flux, updated as events are organized.

  • The MIT Daily newsletter will not be sent.
  • Institute meetings are cancelled where possible.
  • Members of the Biology and Chemistry Departments are planning a day of discussions.  
  • The Math Department is organizing readings and reflections that afternoon, followed by discussion groups led by members of the department. 
  • The Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences is also sharing readings and hosting discussions in an open forum. 
  • The Brain and Cognitive Sciences, McGovern Institute and Picower Institute are pressing pause on “business as usual” to allow for self-directed and lab/group discussions.
  • The Physics Department is planning on an actual shutdown with no meetings.
  • MIT Kavli Institute will host a town hall.
  • The Center for Theoretical Physics (CTP) within the Laboratory for Nuclear Science is organizing activities. 
  • The School of Science welcomes thoughts, comments, suggestions, and feedback for events that we can organize, such as Learn@Lunch gatherings, and how we can enact positive change within our community via scncinfo@mit.edu
  • The School of Science is seeking proposals for our Quality of Life grant program. Some activities you may want to consider include: wellness and support resources, ally and inclusivity workshops, book clubs focused on resource materials such as those listed here: https://www.shutdownstem.com/resources, streaming events, and group discussions.

Two members of CTP, Professors Tracy Slatyer and Daniel Harlow,  are co-authors on the call to strike, which you can find here: https://www.particlesforjustice.org/strike-details


(An incomplete list; we welcome suggestions at scncinfo@mit.edu)

The MIT Vigil
MIT President Rafael Reif’s Statement at the Vigil
MIT’s letter regarding Minneapolis and our community
Letter from MIT police chief John DiFava: Protecting and serving at a time of great pain
MIT Mental Health and Counseling
MIT Community Wellness 
MIT Personal Support Resources
MIT’s Institute Community & Equity Office Resources
OGE GradDiversity Community Info
OGE GradSupport 

Inclusive Graduate Education Network Resources for Well-being 
#ShutDownSTEM and #ShutDownAcademia Resources
#Strike4BlackLives Resources
100 ways to take action against racism
The Steve Fund’s letter and resources
Join The Color of Change campaigns
AAAS statement on #ShutDownSTEM
MIT Black History Project
MIT OpenCourseware
MIT Press
MIT Libraries
Just Mercy
Talking About Protests and Police Violence: A Race-Class Messaging Guide From Berkeley-based scholar and researcher Ian Haney López. 
MLK Research Institute at Stanford
Recommended Books, Podcasts, Videos, Kids Resources
M4BL Messaging Guide and Influencer Toolkit One of many resources on the Movement for Black Lives collaborative website. 
Ten Lessons for Talking About Race, Racism and Racial Justice From The Opportunity Agenda, a national nonprofit focused on social justice communications, based in NYC. 
Building Narrative Power A comprehensive guide from Color of Change, the racial justice organization founded by Rashad Robinson. 
Sierra Club Equity Language Guide (2016) “This guide is intended to ensure that [our] communications present a consistent picture that reflects our organizational commitment to equity, inclusion, and justice.” 
Government Alliance on Race & Equity Communications Guide (2018) Extensive toolkit intended for teams advancing racial equity in over 150 local jurisdictions in 30 states (from community engagement to policy change), although it can serve as a useful resource for any team with advancing racial equity as part of its mission.
Messaging on Policing, Protest, and Racial Justice (2020) From ASO Communications, a social justice research and messaging firm in DC. 
Acknowledge history and give context.
Statement by Sarah Rosen Wartell, President of the Urban Institute
Start here: The 1619 Project
Acknowledge anti-black racism. 
Statement by Richard Besser, MD, CEO of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Start here: Anti-Back Bias Toolkit
Acknowledge everyday acts of racism and advance racial equity. 
Statement by the ProInspire Team (Part 1Part 2)
Start here: Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture

Acknowledge not only Black men but also Black women, Trans, Queer, and Gender non-conforming people.
Statement by Nick Donohue, CEO and President of Nellie Mae Education Foundation President
Start here: National LGBTQ Task Force Report on transgender and gender non-conforming people in the United States.
Acknowledge anti-racism work within your organization.
Statement by Nick Donohue, CEO and President of Nellie Mae Education Foundation President
Start here: Moving Your Organization to be Anti-Racist Webinar
Acknowledge systemic and institutionalized racism. 
Statement by Board of Trustees Chair David C. Mills and President and CEO Dr. William C. Bell of Casey Family Programs 
Start here: “What Is Systemic Racism?”
Acknowledge your own personal responsibility.
Statement by Sarah Rosen Wartell, President of the Urban Institute
Start here: Anti racist resource guide