As we watched the murder of George Floyd, we were overcome with emotions, including outrage, anger, fear, and exhaustion. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are only the most recent and visible series of instances of police abuse and public displays of racism that have occurred in the United States. Police violence and the murder of Black people have ignited trauma, resistance, and a call for justice that echoes across the world. As demonstrations and protests continue throughout the world, we stand together, as a Society, in solidarity with Black families and communities, especially our members, friends, and colleagues of color across the globe.
We truly believe in our organization’s vision “To better our world, it’s ecosystems, and inhabitants, by creating an international community that advances and integrates exposure science into research and action.” The International Society of Exposure Sciences (ISES) aims to ensure that the activities and membership of ISES are inclusive, draw from all segments of society, and reflect fairness, diversity, and inclusion in order to advance the ability of ISES to meet its objectives.
Systemic racism is at the root of police brutality and has resulted in Black communities, and other communities of color, facing economic, health, and social inequities that have harmed generations. The disparities are innumerable, in health care access and quality, in exposures to harmful contaminants, in educational opportunities, in access to nutritional food, in housing quality, and in so many other determinants of health and well-being that are now worsened in the increased COVID-19 complications and mortality we see these communities suffer during this global pandemic. This structural racism plays a role in human health by isolating racial groups and concentrating adverse exposures at all levels, including psychosocial, physical, and environmental exposures. We are calling for an end to this detrimental cycle.
In a world where we are collectively grieving, now more than ever, it is essential to work against racism, police brutality, food insecurity, environmental injustice, health disparities, poverty, violence, mass incarceration, and all other injustices that have plagued our communities for far too long. We recognize that dismantling a system that has ignored the cries of Black communities for generations is a long-term undertaking, but we are committed to this endeavor; there are small actions that will help move us toward that goal, and this starts on an individual level. It is time for each of us to fight these injustices through our actions.
Black lives matter.