ASA Statement on Racism and Injustice
June 3, 2020
The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) strongly supports racial justice movements and the fight against systemic racism. The brutal killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Michael Brown, Philando Castile, Jamar Clark, George Floyd, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, and countless others have incited outrage and highlighted the deeply rooted racial injustices that persist in this country. We, as members of the ASA, are equally outraged. We recognize the profoundly damaging effects that police brutality, mass incarceration, and economic, health, and educational inequities have on Black people and communities of color. It is our responsibility to actively oppose racial injustices and understand the impact of our own implicit biases, acknowledging that we are sometimes complicit within an oppressive system.
The protests and current unrest in our nation and across the world are taking place amidst a global pandemic, which itself has disproportionately impacted people of color. The convergence of these events further highlights the urgent need for genuine change.
ASA is firmly committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive acoustics community as outlined in the ASA Policy on Diversity from 2013:
The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is committed to making acoustics more accessible to everyone, and asserts that all individuals, regardless of racial identity, ethnic background, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, or national origin, must be provided equal opportunity in the field of acoustics. The Society upholds the belief that diversity enriches the field of acoustics, and is working to diversify its membership and the acoustics community in general by identifying barriers to implementing this change, and is taking an active role in organizational and institutional efforts to bring about such change. The Society actively supports efforts by the acoustics community to better engage the knowledge and talents of a diverse population, increase the viability of acoustics as a career option for all individuals, and promote the pursuit of acoustics careers by members of historically under-represented groups.
We recognize that the membership of the ASA does not reflect the demographics of our nation and acknowledge our responsibility to fix this. We must strive to be advocates of justice, to support policy and legislative changes that will decrease systemic racism in our organization and nationally, and to work for institutional reform. The ongoing, deeply destructive effects of systemic racism must be simultaneously addressed at many levels including within ourselves, our local communities, the ASA, and our nation.
Finally, let us be clear: Black Lives Matter. Black lives should have always mattered. Now is the time to transform the system so that Black lives not only matter but also will be respected and valued in the tapestry that is the United States. Then and only then can the country finally live up to the ideals and principles on which it was founded.