The Harvard Data Science Initiative (HDSI) Postdoctoral Fellows feel outrage and anguish over the killings, police brutality, and injustices that disproportionately affect and marginalize Black people in America. The events of the past few weeks have been profound reminders of the systemic racism and injustice throughout our society and the dedicated work on which we need to act in order to dismantle racial inequity.
We stand in solidarity with the Black community, and we need to act to eradicate racism and racial injustice in STEM, academia, and society to drive systemic change. The HDSI Postdoctoral Fellows commit to expose and eliminate racial inequity by starting with the following actions:
● Recognize the role data science and the use of big data play in persisting discrimination and inequity and leverage our skills and experience in data science to actively combat the misuse of data science in supporting discriminatory practices and dismantle academic complicity in racist ideologies and institutions
● Educate ourselves on the history of anti-Blackness and racial inequity in STEM and participate in anti-racist training to understand the specific racial context of America and better engage in race-related discussions
● Create individual action plans to address racial disparities in data science and our related fields, including actively participating as mentors in ongoing minority outreach activities at Harvard and devoting time to outreach and efforts among Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and minorities in STEM and data science
● Dedicate research effort to support researchers studying and exposing disparities in data science and in our related fields and addressing the needs of BIPOC communities
Over the next few weeks, we will be identifying further and more specific actions we can take as a group to address systemic racism and racial inequity in data science and STEM.
Being dedicated to its vision to create interdisciplinary pathways to solve real problems and “derive meaningful and actionable insights that will shape the world for generations to come,” the HDSI has a responsibility to expose racial inequities and injustices and address institutionalized racism. The HDSI Postdoctoral Fellows are committed to anti-racism work in order to shape the future of data-driven policy free of racial discrimination and disparity.