NASW stands in solidarity with the Black community

We, the Board members of the National Association of Science Writers, are deeply saddened and angered by the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other Black individuals, at the hands of police officers charged with protecting them and their communities. Recently we condemned the targeting of journalists covering protests and called for First Amendment protections, but our professional responsibilities do not stop there.

As an organization dedicated to the highest standards of journalism, we must at times remain on the sidelines with respect to issues about which we, as individuals, may have strong feelings. This is not such a time. Racism is not such an issue. No profession, and no person, is at liberty to ignore structural racism and violence. Civil rights, safety, and freedom are issues of fundamental importance and must be championed.

Our commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion applies to every aspect of NASW and extends to the broader field of science writing. Diversity is strength. When science writing is shaped by people from a variety of backgrounds, the stories we are able to tell and the context we are able to use to understand those stories is broadened. Incorporating many perspectives makes us better communicators and enables us to better serve our readers and communities. As an organization that supports science writers, serves readers, and reflects the impact of science on society, NASW is taking action and speaking up against systemic police brutality against Black people.

Racism bleeds into our work and workplaces and feeds into the system that perpetuates this violence. Science writers of color regularly confront both obvious and subtle racism in their workplaces, suffer abuse from readers and online trolls, and experience harassment from sources. The way we communicate can reinforce racist ideologies. To our Black members and Black science writers in the field, we see you. We support you. We value you. We encourage our members who are not Black to support your colleagues and your communities by taking actions that address racism and the ways we allow it to flourish. Meaningful actions could include:

We will continue to work to ensure that science writing in general, and NASW in particular, are diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We recognize that we have more work to do to make NASW reflect our society's diversity. We must do better, and we will. We remain actively intolerant of racism, harassment, discrimination, or incivility within our organization. We invite NASW members to express your thoughts, share resources, or tell us how we may be of service to you, by emailing Executive Director Tinsley Davis at director@nasw.org.

Siri Carpenter
NASW President
for the NASW board

Established in 1934, the National Association of Science Writers fosters the dissemination of accurate information regarding science by supporting the professional development of science writers. Membership is open to working journalists, PIOs, writers, authors, and other content creators, as well as students. Our community spans freelancers and employees working at newspapers, wire services, magazines, radio and television, and digital properties, as well as universities, agencies, and other institutions across the United States and beyond. Above all, NASW fights for the free flow of science news. To learn more, visit www.nasw.org and follow us at twitter.com/ScienceWriters.

 

Jun. 2, 2020

Drexel University Online