Letter to SRCD Members in this Crisis Moment
The events of the last several weeks have left us with a profound sense of grief, anger, and weariness, but also resolve. We grieve with the family and friends of George Floyd, who was killed by the police in Minneapolis. We grieve with countless other families, including those of Ahmaud Arbery, João Pedro Mattos Pinto, and Breonna Taylor, whose loved ones died senseless and inexplicable deaths at the hands of police officers around the globe.
We are angry at the police officers, their supervisors, and public leaders who allow these actions to continue.
We have grown weary from these reports, coming on the heels of the COVID scourge which has affected us all but especially the very same groups that have been targeted by police officers.
But we are resolved. To prevent the senseless deaths of African Americans at the hands of police and the systematic racism and oppression of people of color, we must transform our anger and grief and resolve to act. We must act at every level.
As leaders of a scientific organization that cares deeply about children, we lean into the research that consistently documents the long-lasting negative effects that discrimination, oppression, racism, and implicit bias have on children. We must discover ways to support families and communities in raising children to become peaceful and tolerant citizens.
We must hold our leaders accountable. Today, leaders at the highest levels are sowing division and racism instead of bringing healing and unity.
We must raise up the voices of unity, accountability, and healing that our nation needs. We need to elevate the voices of youth. Through evidence-based programs, we need to equip them for civic engagement and leadership that will bring about the changes that society needs. We need to stand behind and support youth in creating a better future.
Importantly, we must hold ourselves accountable. As members of the Society for Research in Child Development, we must ask ourselves what we can do in our teaching, our research, and our academic work to bring about the needed changes in our society.
At times like this, we must examine our own beliefs, values, and goals. At SRCD, integrating racial, cultural, and economic diversity into the spheres of developmental science is a central strategic goal. We will continue to promote research that illuminates the lived experiences of children of color, especially in these times of increased oppression and racism. SRCD can be counted on to act based on evidence.
Finally, SRCD builds capacity, as a strategic goal. We will raise up the next generation of researchers, inform policymakers, and equip practitioners in ways that lead to healing the broken-hearted, building bridges across the partisan divides, and advancing developmental science to improve human lives -- #WokeScientist.
We cannot do this alone. We must do this in community and in collaboration. SRCD Commons has been created to grow our sense of community. There are portals for members to communicate with each other for support and information. SRCD is hosting chats, webinars, and virtual meetings with parents of children to offer counsel and support.
Let us commit. Never again.
With love and care,
Natasha Cabrera, SRCD Secretary
Ken Dodge, SRCD President
Nancy Hill, SRCD President-Elect