SAM Statement of Support & Solidarity
Dear Black Colleagues and Friends,
The board of the Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group (SAM) of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) expresses their support for, and solidarity with, the Black Geographies Specialty Group and Black geographers and colleagues. We are inspired by the activists, abolitionists, organizers, and protestors uniting against systemic racial injustice, police violence and abuse, and institutional oppression against Black and Brown persons. Words will never suffice for the vile and abhorrent racism that pervades our society and suppresses the lives, voices, and ambitions of so many people of color.
We build upon the calls for solidarity by many AAG specialty groups by committing ourselves to action for a more just Black future. The SAM community is comprised of individuals with a unique set of skills involved across academia, industry, and government. Each of us is uniquely positioned to help ameliorate the institutions and systems that perpetuate racial injustices, and to progress towards a truly integrated society where Black and Brown voices are listened to and heard, lives are respected, and ambitions are realized. As working professionals, we need to be more sensitive to the experiences and identities of our Black and Brown colleagues, calling out micro-aggressions, and proactively offer support through meaningful interactions. As educators, we must cultivate safe and open environments for necessary dialogues about societal racial dynamics, and use inclusive teaching strategies. Similarly, as researchers, we should look to broaden our scope to involve people-of-color communities, reflect on the nature of our projects in contemporary society, and ensure that racial and ethnic minorities are properly represented and their perspectives are not omitted. Collectively, we all have a task to educate and inform ourselves about racial discrimination especially against Black and Brown persons, and to work towards a unified community where individual differences are affirmed, respected, and celebrated and where everyone may have the same opportunity to pursue and fulfill their ambitions. There is much work to be done.
Black Lives Matter.
With our commitment to a more just future and all our love,