SANDSWA Racial Justice Statement

The board of the San Diego Science Writers Association (SANDSWA) condemns violence and racism, and we are angered by the increase in hate crimes across our country targeting communities of color.

In the past year, there have been 3,800 reported anti-Asian racist incidents — only a fraction of the incidents that actually occur due to underreporting — and women comprised 68% of those reports. On March 16, mass shootings at three different businesses in the Atlanta, Georgia area left eight people dead, six of whom were women of Asian descent. These women were Hyun Jung Grant, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Suncha Kim, Soon Chung Park and Yong Ae Yue. Delaina Ashley Yaun and Paul Andre Michels were also killed in the attacks. 

In just the past few weeks, the pattern of violence against communities of color has continued. Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in Minnesota on April 11; and Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Mexican American, was fatally shot by a police officer in Chicago on March 29. 

We stand in solidarity against all acts of violence and racism, and are committed to making SANDSWA a welcoming place for everyone. Hate or harassment of our members in any form will not be tolerated. We urge our members to commit to racial justice, especially in their science writing and science communication. As storytellers, we have a great responsibility to get it right.

Continuing our commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion, we are currently in the process of adding diversity resources to our website, which we expect to go live soon. This curated guide will provide our members with ideas and resources for including more diverse voices in their science stories. Until then, here are some helpful resources from the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), The Association of LGBTQ Journalists (NLGJA) and the Trans Journalists Association.

Additionally, if you’re interested in learning more about racial justice in science writing, please consider joining the SANDSWA Social Justice in Science Writing Club. The next club meeting is Friday, April 23 from 2-3pm via Zoom. Register in advance at https://bit.ly/2PT8qxd

The SANDSWA board will continue to discuss programming and ways we can elevate the voices and stories of people who are members of a community that is underrepresented in science writing. If you have any specific ideas — or just want to share thoughts or feelings — we’re here to listen at sandswa.info@gmail.com.

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