We, the Department of Cognitive Science at JHU, stand with the voices of the Black Lives Matter movement. Black lives matter. Not only do they matter, but we value Black voices and experiences in our department and, more broadly, our field. We stand in solidarity with Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities, which are not only underrepresented and otherwise disadvantaged in science, but also are disproportionately affected by police violence and systemic racism in many aspects of their lives.
Just as cognitive science draws its strength from the diversity of intellectual traditions that each contribute to our understanding of the mind/brain, we are convinced that societies, especially democracies, must draw their strength from a diversity of cultures, each accorded equal respect and opportunity to contribute to the health and well-being of all citizens.
We are actively making the effort to increase representation at every level in our department. A focal point for this effort is the newly formed Department Representation Committee, consisting of faculty (including participation from the Chair, Director of Graduate Studies, and Director of Undergraduate Studies), graduate students, postdocs, and department administrators. This committee has as its mission several key goals including increasing representation and support for underrepresented minorities at every level within the department; making the department climate more welcoming and safe for everyone, especially underrepresented groups in science; and taking school-wide and University-wide action to support anti-racist groups and policies.
We recognize that we have more work to do. We encourage anyone who is interested to reach out if they have questions or would like to join our efforts.