The strength of ASBMR has always been the diversity of our membership. WE are comprised of a diverse collection of individuals from different backgrounds, countries, and cultures that has come together as ‘One Global ASBMR Family’. Therefore, when outside events affect some members of our Society, they affect all of us.
It has been an extremely challenging year for our Asian and Asian American colleagues in the U.S. The murders earlier this week of eight people, including six Asian-American women in Atlanta is the latest horrific event in this dramatic rise of incidents of racism and violence against the Asian and Asian-American communities since the beginning of the pandemic. It has also highlighted the intersection of racism and violence against women.
This rise in racist incidents has affected many of our members from diverse backgrounds, at a time when we are continuing to battle the anxiety, uncertainty, and the effect of COVID-19 on our families, friends, careers, and field. And one year after the killings of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, we are reminded, yet again, that we cannot, and must not, accept reprehensible events like this. We must stand together, as people and scientists, in condemning hate and bias and reaffirm our support for our Asian and Asian-American colleagues.
We again have an opportunity and obligation to listen to each other and lift our collective voice against social injustice and racism. In the past year, we have taken steps to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion within our Society, and we continue to chart our path on how to best care for our colleagues and community. We aspire to listen, to reflect, and to take action as our community shares their hurt, their hope, and advice for how we can continue to cultivate a Society that is open and inclusive to all members from all backgrounds.
In light of this, we will be holding a listening session in which members may express their thoughts and feelings, and discuss actions that we can take as a community. A community-wide invitation will be forthcoming.
Despite these appalling events, I have tremendous faith in our community as we stand together and take meaningful steps to address these injustices as ‘One Global ASBMR Family’.
Suzanne Jan de Beur, M.D.