Down south now, to the home of the blues, Elvis Presley, BBQ, and all kinds of Memphis goodness.
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March for Science Memphis has drawn an excessive amount of attention in an ongoing national debate around accessibility, inclusion, and representation. We have been the targets of sharp criticism for our stance in this conversation.
From the beginning, we have recognized the urgency of directly confronting issues of marginalized communities that intersect with a need for scientific justice.
The impact of policy changes and environmental damage on women, people of color, the working class, and disabled folks is exponentially higher than on the general population.
Our commitment to centering these issues was deemed so controversial, radical, and distracting that it led to both the resignation of some of our organizers and attempts on their behalf to dismantle our efforts.
Supporting marginalized communities and supporting science are not mutually exclusive.
No one is exempt from the devastation that results from attacks on the environment and the scientific community. Everyone should care.
Historically, and currently, however, certain communities have been excluded from or exploited by science. It is imperative that, in the struggle for scientific justice, we actively fight for representation and inclusion of marginalized communities.
Hosting a science festival and proclaiming welcomeness to everyone simply doesn't cut it. You can’t start the meal without having everyone at the table.
Supporting marginalized communities and supporting science are not mutually exclusive. To frame it this way is to erase disabled scientists, scientists of color, and queer scientists.
We support the scientists whose resources and rights as workers are being threatened. There is nothing about uplifting underrepresented minorities that detracts from the demand for job dignity and security for all workers in the STEM fields.
Despite the pushback from corporate-driven agendas and benefactors of the status quo, we are persisting in the struggle for science for the people and support for the scientific community.
It is everyone’s right to enjoy the benefits of scientific advancements. We must protect the funding of research and fight for access of scientific progress for all.
Now is not the time to be silent.
It is time to engage in a difficult and honest conversation that will ultimately build bridges between the scientific community and the public.
These bridges are crucial, as our unity and mutual solidarity are our most powerful weapons in the fight against injustice.