By the OHBM Diversity and Inclusivity Committee (and endorsed by OHBM Council)
We share the deep sadness, outrage, and frustration that many around the world have felt in reaction to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and too many other innocent Black people over the years. As an international organization that strives to represent a diverse and vibrant global community of researchers studying the human brain, OHBM itself has struggled over its 25 years to incorporate initiatives and policies that reflect our values of inclusivity, tolerance, and respect.
The events of these past weeks are a grim reminder that words alone are not enough to combat the systemic racism that plagues societies across the world, and we recognize that we have not done enough to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. To this, we also add other groups, such as people with disabilities for which as an organization we may not have provided sufficient support. The past few days have been a period of inward contemplation for us. The events of last week enraged us, and our first urge was to publicly denounce them. Cautious voices advised us against issuing a statement that is not followed by concrete actions. They were right. Since then we, on the Diversity and Inclusivity Committee have had detailed discussions about how we can meaningfully contribute to the conversation and truly make a difference to make our organization a welcome, safe environment that educates and supports each and every member of our group.
In the spirit of openness, we share with you a non-exhaustive list of concrete actions OHBM plans to undertake over the coming months to affirm our commitment to creating and maintaining a supportive environment for all OHBM members, especially those who are historically underrepresented and marginalized. Our goal is to particularly support the Black community within OHBM, increase its representation, and address anti-Black racism. We understand that we have not done enough for this community yet, but we would like to change that in the near future.
The OHBM Council, the Diversity and Inclusivity Committee, and the Program Committee will work together with various other OHBM special interest groups and committees to implement the following: