Columbia University in the City of New York

A Message From the Zuckerman Institute: A Stance Against Racism

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

The events of anti-Black violence over the past weeks are a stark reminder that our society is pervaded by structural racism and systemic inequality of basic human rights. The recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and the video of the interaction between Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper, remind us that the progress on assuring racial equality has simply been inadequate. We need to do more. This is a time to support each other, and also a time to institute more effective, meaningful changes.

At the Zuckerman Institute, diversity and inclusion is one of our pillars. We do not tolerate racism, prejudice or bias. Inclusion requires that we undo the structural underpinnings that have sustained racism and discrimination, and that we build new and equitable structures.

We commit to assuring a sensitive, diverse and inclusive environment for all Zuckerman Institute members.

We are instituting a series of immediate steps, including the creation of a Zuckerman Institute Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Board to ensure the Institute is sensitive to issues of diversity and racism. We are committing resources to establish fellowships to support Black and other URM students and fellows. We are creating ways to support and counsel all of our members in these troubling times. Kelley Remole, Zuckerman Institute Senior Director of Programs, will coordinate a cohesive institutional response to bring systemic change. Please reach out to her with your comments and suggestions.

This is only the beginning. Change will require the sustained and collaborative effort of people across the Institute. We are deeply committed to addressing the systemic inequality in our world and in science.

Sincerely,
Rui M. Costa, Richard Axel and Eric Kandel, Directors
Jennifer Farris, Chief Operating Officer
Charles Zuker and Daphna Shohamy, Chair and Vice-Chair, Executive Committee