Statement on Racial Inequities, Black Lives, and the Protests Across the Nation

June 3, 2020

OpenSciEd stands with the millions of people across our country who seek justice for the Black lives lost to racialized violence and with those who demand and pursue the reforms necessary to root out systemic racism, anti-Blackness, and white supremacy. We stand firmly in the belief that Black lives matter.  We mourn and honor the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, as well as the many other Black lives who have been interrupted and disrupted.

As an organization, OpenSciEd remains committed to acknowledging and taking on systemic racism in education. We recognize that the education system has often been a tool of oppression against people of color, specifically Black people, recreating power hierarchies and inequities. As science educators, we endeavor to develop science instructional materials and professional learning resources that provide equitable learning opportunities for historically disenfranchised students, with the goal to support their long-term self-determination. Our development process seeks to surface and address inequities in the engagement and participation of Black and Brown students in science learning, as well as other students who have been seen through a deficit lens rather than as knowledge builders in classrooms. Part of our work towards equity and justice involves recognizing the insidious ways racism has operated in science and rooting it out of science education; we see this in the way COVID-19 has affected Black and Brown communities, the Tuskegee Syphilis experiment, and the violation of Henrietta Lacks, to name a few. Therefore, we strive to implement approaches that de-settle inequitable systems, routines, and assumptions that are in place in too many science learning environments and educational institutions.

We call on all curriculum developers to provide materials that bring forward and value all students’ voices and surface the critical conversations that will empower students to own their education and their futures.

Our work as educators is central to the elimination of racism, Anti-Blackness, and white supremacy in science education and we dedicate our organization to advocate for and work toward a more just society.