Commitment to Racial Equity

As our nation rises to action in response to continued police violence and systemic racism, the BUGSS Board of Directors declares our organizational commitment to racial justice, and to equality within and through life sciences. We ask that you, as a member of our community, join us in these commitments.

1. We demand justice for all black people who have been killed by the people entrusted to serve and protect our communities.
2. We demand change to end systemic state violence against the black community.
3. We acknowledge the racist histories and current systems that underpin our society and that it is necessary to continually identify and uproot them.
4. We affirm the power of community-based learning, organization, and action to make meaningful change in our lives.

As a community science lab, BUGSS has focused on its mission of making the biological sciences accessible to all people without limitation due to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, educational background, or income. These values can be seen in many aspects of our programming, practices, and community. However, we recognize that there is more work for us to do as an organization to better serve the majority black population of our city and the vibrant Latinx community of our Highlandtown neighborhood, and we pledge to make our programming more inclusive, relevant, accessible, and impactful to these communities.

1. BUGSS serves as a liaison between the civic community and the scientific community of researchers, industry leaders, universities, and other life science institutions. As such, we will foster mutually-informed dialogue that supports the sharing of scientific knowledge and gives voice to our community’s concerns, knowledge, and histories in order to promote understanding, accountability, and positive change.
2. BUGSS will be proactive in ensuring that its programs and benefits, such as speaking and leadership opportunities, enable a diverse group of scientists to make their voices heard within our community.
3. BUGSS will organize reading groups, host events, facilitate discussions, and provide other resources to explore and address the ways in which scientific evidence has historically been misused to support and perpetuate white supremacy, male chauvinism, and cisgender heteronormitivity, from the invention of race through the current COVID-19 crisis.
4. As an organization that empowers citizens in a field where access has historically been restricted to a select few, we will continue to foster a community of changemakers, and we will partner with other community-based organizations to share knowledge, strategies, and efforts to make direct and systemic changes in our society.

As a part of the BUGSS community, we ask that you join us in this work. We invite you to sign on to this commitment by adding your name to this declaration below. Please contact the Board by emailing if you would like to discuss ways to actively volunteer your time and skills towards these efforts. We further encourage monetary donations to other local groups that excel at addressing the complex challenges of racial justice.


Lisa Scheifele, Board Member and Executive Director

Ryan Hoover, Board Member

Jennifer Winters, Board Member

Anne Hamburger, Board Member

Linda Saffer, Board Member

Thomas Burkett, Board Chair

Michael Johnson, Board Member