Diversity Statements

One of the main goals of the Graduate Physics and Astronomy Society is to foster community between all graduate students. We fail at this mission if even one graduate student feels unwelcome. Here are the statements from both GPAS and the Physics Diversity Committee regarding recent events:

June 3, 2020

Dear Fellow Physicists,

With shocking events of the recent days, we as the Graduate Physics Society Executive Board felt it necessary to reach out to you. We are feeling many strong emotions, including deep sadness and disgust, about the murder of George Floyd as well other members of the African American community including Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and many more. We grieve for their passing as well as condemn the horrific acts that claimed their lives far too early. This serves as a reminder that the path towards equality that African Americans are taking is a dangerous and difficult one, as well as one that is unfortunately not yet finished. 

The Graduate Physics Society is committed to supporting and welcoming African American students. We want to be incredibly clear: Black Lives Matter; racism, in any and all forms, has absolutely no place in this department. Racism has unfortunately been a part of academia for far too long and while we may feel powerless at times, we promise you that we will do all that we can do as graduate students to be open-minded, to listen, and to support our colleagues. 

We want to extend a sincere thank you to the students in our department who have shown support for this movement, including but not limited to being on the front lines of peaceful protests, expressing their support online, and/or donating to anti-racism causes. We also hope that our students who are living in areas where rioting and violence are taking place are able to stay safe. 

During this difficult time in our community, we ask that you please take care of yourself and each other. We have assembled a list of resources on campus to help you in this crisis:

We hope that everyone is able to stay safe. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the resources above. We are here for you.

Thank you for your time and attention. 

With love,
GPS Executive Board

June 4, 2020

To the Notre Dame Physics Community –

This week is a hard week to think about physics.

As we have watched the events of the week unfold, whether it be from our socially-distant residences or as protesters on the front line, we are shocked and saddened at the senseless loss of life throughout the country and close to home: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Eric Logan, and too many more. We understand these events are just the tip of the iceberg of systemic racism experienced by African Americans in this country and at Notre Dame.

Faced with these difficult times, our young people have driven a brave, positive, and hopeful response. We thank the GPS executive board for their supportive message sent yesterday along with the helpful list of campus resources for crucial self care. The leadership of the Notre Dame undergraduates have also written a response and are welcoming co-signers:

The Diversity Committee wholeheartedly supports these statements and would like to extend the sentiments expressed in these documents to our entire community: faculty members; teaching, research, and support staff; postdoctoral fellows; and graduate and undergraduate students. To quote the GPS statement: We want to be incredibly clear: Black Lives Matter; racism, in any and all forms, has absolutely no place in this department.

Many of us have felt the call to become better allies of the underrepresented among us. Allyship is an active process, and we invite you to take the first or next step on this journey with us. We will be announcing opportunities for allyship building soon.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to us as an additional source of information and support.

The Notre Dame Physics Diversity Committee