Statement on Racial Equity and Justice

June 9, 2020

SiS stands in solidarity with the Black, LatinX and other marginalized communities striving for an equitable and just society. We grieve the senseless murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Lloyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and all the Black and Brown residents who have fallen to racial injustice in this country. And we express our indignation over the myriad injustices, hostilities and disrespect routinely faced in all areas of society: education, health, career, housing, food, and law, to name a few.


The time to actively disrupt systemic racism and the pervasive norms of white privilege is long overdue. The privilege and power which universities like Northwestern have built must be used to actively address these disparities.


Our center’s mission is to be a mechanism for change. We start by asking, “How can we help?” These words have never been more important. "How can we help our community partners? How can we help our school systems? How can we help our neighbors, our co-workers, our community?

We are redoubling our efforts to be listeners and learners in equity-focused educational practice, following the guidance of community-based leaders who have already been fighting. 

Specific actions we will take include:

  • Partnering with mentoring scholar Bernadette Sánchez (DePaul University) to offer a new equity-focused mentor training for our Science Club mentor volunteers.
  • Speaking with our community partners in Uptown, Little Village, Lakeview, West Ridge, and Evanston to support immediate and long term justice-based work.
  • Renewing our center staff book club meetings on race and equity. The discussions we previously had around Blind Spot (Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald) were enlightening, reflective, and incredibly important. One out of every four staff meetings will be devoted to our next book, How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi.
  • SiS staff will be active participants in Northwestern’s One Book 2020-21 selection Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.
  • The center will be reaching out within the NU community as an active collaborator and supporter of our colleagues working to advance racial, ethnic, and gender equity. These units include the Office of Equity, the Women’s Center and others.
  • Internal meetings to build a culture that constantly makes strides toward equity and dismantles microaggressions and white supremacy culture.


Below are a list of resources that we in SiS have found to be educational and helpful. We can personally vouch for each. This list will grow as we identify additional resources and continue to learn.


To our community partners, families, and youth we strive to support, we may not always have the words to express our sorrow for the deep pain and injustices you face daily.  But we are listening, learning, and will stand by you. Together, we will bring change.


-The Science in Society Team


Books - please consider supporting a minority-owned business, not Amazon

  • How to Be an Antiracist (Ibram X. Kendi)
  • So You Want to Talk About Race (Ijeoma Oluo)
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria (Beverly Daniel Tatum)
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People to Talk about Racism (Robin Diangelo)
  • The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (Richard Rothstein)
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Michelle Alexander)
  • Medical Apartheid (Harriet A Washington)
  • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Ibram X Kendi)
  • Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools (Monique W Morris)
  • Are Prisons Obsolete? (Angela Y. Davis)
  • Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools (Jonothan Kozol)
  • Between the World and Me (Ta-Nehisi Coates)
  • Death Gap: How Inequality Kill (David Ansell)
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (Isabel Wilkerson)
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou)
  • The Fire Next Time (James Baldwin)


  • Petitions to Sign  this website has a comprehensive list of all the petitions (related to Black Lives Matter) that have yet to reach their goals  

Ways to Financially Support

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Survived and Punished - national volunteer project for prison abolition and ending the criminalization of survivors of domestic and sexual violence
  • Volunteer Organizations by state, organized by Equal Justice Initiative



  • 13th (Netflix) - This film explores the intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States
  • When They See Us (Netflix) - The film is a retelling of the unjust incarceration of the exonerated 5 
  • American Son (Netflix) - The film tells the story of an interracial couple reuniting in a Florida police station to find their missing teenage son
  • I Am Not Your Negro (Amazon Prime) - The film is a documentary based on James Baldwin’s book of the same title 

Audio/Podcasts/TED Talks 

  • The Problem We All Live With is a two-part This American Life episode by Nikole Hannah-Jones that illustrates the challenges of desegregation.
  • Seeing White, from Scene on Radio, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. This 14-part podcast traces the historical origins and evolution of racist ideology and white privilege
  • Clarice Phelps: How I Claimed a Seat at the Periodic Table, In this personal talk, nuclear chemist Clarice Phelps -- the first African-American woman involved in the discovery of a chemical element -- debunks the myth of solitary genius and challenges institutional elitism by sharing stories of women of color making their way in science.
  • Heather C. McGhee - Racism has a Cost for Everyone 
  • Code Switch - This is a race and culture outlet and weekly podcast from NPR

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