The Society for Mathematical Biology (SMB) is an international Society with a diverse membership. The heartbreaking events of the last few days, precipitated by the murder of George Floyd, and many other Black men and women over recent months, have highlighted racial inequalities that are sadly embedded in key public and private institutions. We need this to change now!
Our Society has never tolerated discrimination or racism of any form and embraces inclusion and equity. SMB condemns racial injustice and violence against all people of color – we stand in solidarity with our Black, LatinX, and Native communities.
Lingering discriminatory ideology has become increasingly apparent due to recent events, and minority communities need our support. Whilst SMB embraces diversity, it is clear that we can do and must do more. In the coming weeks and months, we plan to make the following specific changes to celebrate diversity, to improve inclusion, to diversify our leadership and membership, and to make sure that our Society is doing all it can to support and promote our colleagues of color:
(i) Establish a diversity officer as part of the SMB Board at the next board meeting in June. The diversity officer will oversee all activities and ensure presentation and representation of our Black, LatinX, and Native community members.
(ii) Work with the diversity officer, SMB subgroup leaders, and annual meeting organizers to actively recruit speakers from underrepresented minorities for keynote lectures and mini-symposia contributions at our annual meetings.
(iii) Encourage members from underrepresented minorities to volunteer for leadership positions in the SMB.
(iv) Set aside specific travel awards for underrepresented minorities at our annual meeting.
(v) Highlight the exceptional mathematical biology work by SMB members from underrepresented minorities in our quarterly newsletter.
Stay safe and celebrate diversity in mathematical biology!
Sandy Anderson, President
Denise Kirschner, Vice President
Heiko Enderling, President-Elect.