Dear Members of the NYU CDS Community:
Like many of you, we witnessed with horror the brutal murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. And, like many of you, we cannot remain silent. The NYU Center for Data Science stands in solidarity with the black community and with all those protesting police violence and declares with one voice: Black Lives Matter.
As the protests these last days make clear, we all have a responsibility to fight for racial justice. The field of data science is still far from integrated, and we continue to work to increase the representativeness of our community. Above all, we stand firm in our commitment to data science as a force for good in our society. Our interdisciplinary focus reflects the fact that we have an opportunity to make positive change across a wide variety of fields. We must continue to build data science into a positive tool for accountability, justice, and social change. Each of us is responsible both as citizen and as data scientists to work to build a more just world.
Above all, as members of the New York community, we want to reiterate that we stand with the people of our city as they fight to end systematic racism and rebuild a better city. NYU prides itself on being a private university in the public service, dedicated to public welfare. It is incumbent upon every member of the NYU community to find a way to contribute to social justice.
Members of our community intend to participate in the June 10 #strike4blacklives (aligned with #shutdownSTEM and #shutdownacademia). In support of the Strike for Black Lives, the organizers of the Math and Data+ seminar are postponing their event tomorrow. The organizers have asked that the members of the broader CDS community spend the day educating themselves and others about anti-black racism and taking action against anti-blackness in academia and in our world.
Eliminating systematic racism is a long term challenge. Reflecting tomorrow on how we can help with this challenge is but a first step. We encourage everyone to reflect on how we can contribute as individuals and as members of the strong and innovative community we embody.
Julia Kempe, Director, Center for Data Science and Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics
Jonathan Niles-Weed, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Data Science and MaD+ organizer