Message from American Mathematical Society

NISO Member News

Message from AMS President about systemic racism and violence

I write with a combination of deep sadness and horror as we cope with the death of another black person in a racial incident involving police. We are also experiencing the devastating burst of outrage that has followed.

The death last week of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis came shortly after the shock of the killings of Ahmaud Arbery in Glynn County, Georgia on February 23 and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY on March 13. Tragically, these were not isolated events. The loss of Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Freddie Gray, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and the innumerable other black lives before them, compel us to condemn the systemic racism that is destroying people and poisoning our society.

Indeed, we in the US are not alone in this suffering - many people around the world are all too familiar with the painful consequences of injustice and the oppression of vulnerable or marginalized peoples.

In this particularly painful moment, as we are unable to come together in person to seek or provide comfort, we must still reaffirm our commitment to be an inclusive community, and to speak out against injustice. We must accept the shared responsibility of changing our world for the better, and examining our own biases as part of that.

The AMS Council reaffirmed in January, through the creation of a new Policy Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, that these values are fundamental to the mission of AMS. We are proud to be part of an international community dedicated to learning, teaching, and to the search for solutions. It is our obligation to use these skills to help create fundamental change in the structures in which we work and live.

Jill Pipher, AMS President