In a message posted on the CU Safety Office’s website, Gregory G. Mullen, Associate Vice President for Public Safety and Chief of Police expresses his “anger, disgust and sadness” over the fact that “police officers continue to engage in behaviors that violate human decency, devalue human life, and contradict the ethos of our profession.” He writes, “George Floyd’s death was both avoidable and criminal in nature.”
These are great steps, and we are grateful that Chief Mullen made a public statement. Of course, it could be better. Why write that George Floyd’s “death” is criminal, when it is the murder of Mr. Floyd that was criminal? It is not what George Floyd did (he died) that is criminal, but what the police did to him (they murdered him) that is illegal. Nowhere in this statement does the word “kill” or “murder” appear. And, of course, nowhere does the chief say that Black Lives Matter. Screenshots of the full statement are copied below.
The most recent episode of Talking BIG Jobs, featuring guest Dr. Helen Moore from Applied BioMath, is now available. Listen to Dr. Moore talk about her journey of discovering the link between mathematics and medical research, which experiences influenced her career trajectory, and more. This interview series is co-produced by SIAM and the AMS. The webinars are for graduate students interested in learning about career possibilities in BIG settings (business, entrepreneurship, industry, government, nonprofits, etc.).
In the context of the ongoing murders of Black people, the American Mathematical Society expresses its shame and grief. We condemn these most recent installments in a recurring American story. In expressing our sadness, we recognize that the commitment of the AMS to be an inclusive community and to speak out against injustice has not always been matched by corresponding actions.
The AMS is an organization with shameful episodes in its long history, some of which are well-documented. We apologize for these mistakes, while realizing that this apology is not complete without a clear recognition of the depth and breadth of our mistakes.
We establish today a task force to understand this facet of the history of the AMS. Acknowledging our mistakes is not enough: we must also work to remedy them. The task force is also charged with listening to and seeking input from the mathematics community, specifically from Black mathematicians. These conversations will form the basis for actions that the AMS can undertake to rectify the systemic inequities in the mathematics community. The full charge of the committee can be found here, including a way for you to contribute your thoughts.
At the same time we cannot just stand by and wait for change. The AMS is creating a fund to support and promote the work of Black mathematicians. One goal of the fund is the establishment of a fellowship to support the scholarship of Black mathematicians. This will be part of a broader effort to enact programs recommended by the task force. The AMS and all AMS Trustees have already made pledges to kick off the fund.
From the Clemson Newsstand: The Clemson University Office of Access and Equity has announced a new scholarship for students with disabilities. The Ross Cathy ADA Scholarship — Embracing and Valuing Differing Abilities is offered to any current undergraduate student who has successfully registered with Clemson’s Student Accessibility Services (SAS) or provided appropriate information to the Office of Access and Equity indicating a qualified disability. The student must be in good standing and have earned a minimum of 12 semester hours with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
Ed note: That’s the good news. The bad news is that the scholarship was created by Ross Cathy, grandson of Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy. Chick-fil-A is well known to contribute large sums of money to anti-LGBTQ causes. Even though they have reduced that, the company is nowhere near to LGBTQ friendly.
From the Clemson Newsstand: Shortly after Chris Miller was appointed interim vice president for Clemson University Student Affairs, one of his first tasks was to reinvigorate the division’s approach to inclusive excellence. To create an organizational structure capable of providing optimal support for student success and achievement, Miller knew advocacy for underrepresented and underserved communities had to be a central tenet of the division.
He unveiled for the first time a new conceptual structure for Student Affairs during a Board of Trustees meeting in February 2020. In the months that have followed, what emerged is a department now known as Community Achievement and Student Empowerment (CASE).
From clemsontigers.com: More than 3,000 people came together on Bowman Field on Saturday at the Clemson Community Peaceful Demonstration, coordinated by football student-athletes Darien Rencher, Cornell Powell, Trevor Lawrence and Mike Jones Jr. The demonstration included a 8:46 moment of silence to honor the memory of George Floyd, remarks from student-athletes and coaches, a 2-mile march along the frontside of campus and a singing of “Amazing Grace.”
From the AWM: Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Education announced its changes to the required enforcement of Title IX at colleges and universities, in particular strengthening protections for those accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment. During the open comment period in 2019, the AWM objected strongly to the proposed changes…. None of the concerns raised by the AWM have been alleviated in the changes. Therefore, we stand by our original comments. Additionally, the AWM is critical of the timing of these changes and their required implementation.