Dear PNI Community,
We the Neuroscience faculty are distraught and angered by the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and the consequences of police brutality and racism more generally. The pain of these killings is exacerbated by the simultaneous and disproportionate impact of the COVID pandemic on Black people in the United States. The burden of recent events is high, and the impact of that burden on members of our departmental community is uneven.
Many members of our community are reeling right now, but we especially need to take this time to reaffirm to our Black colleagues that we are not PNI without them. To our Black students and staff: you matter, you make our science better, and you belong at Princeton.
As academics, it is our responsibility to actively educate ourselves on how to break the cycle of racism. We encourage members of the PNI community to engage with anti-racism resources, some of which have been compiled in this link. As scientists, we are taught to recognize and challenge our assumptions and update our understanding with new information. Learning to recognize and challenge racist norms that prevail in society is no different, and the need is greater than ever.
Even though we are away from campus, we stand together as a community. The faculty, staff, and administration are with you, and here to support you. Please reach out to any of us if you think we can provide advice, a listening ear, or practical help. The Directors have scheduled a Town Hall with the graduate students for this Friday, and are scheduling similar ones for the postdocs and the staff. These are excellent opportunities to discuss issues both at PNI and beyond, and we welcome that conversation.
David and Jon, on behalf of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute Faculty
with our colleagues in Psychology