US CMS participates in day of reflection

Some of the members of the US CMS and US ATLAS collaborations who served as panel moderators and panel members are: Top row, from left: Kevin Black, Anadi Canepa, Sarah Demers, Sarah Eno. Middle row: Cecilia Gerber, Bo Jayatilaka, Meenakshi Narain (US CMS Collaboration Board chair and event organizer). Bottom row: Sal Rappoccio, Savanna Starko, Indara Suarez, Wren Vetens.

On June 10, the US CMS collaboration participated in a day of reflection and conversation in support of the Strike For Black Lives, which was led by a group of physicists. About 525 members of the US ATLAS and the US CMS collaborations, including a few external guests, gathered together virtually.

As scholars, educators and researchers, the collaboration gathered to learn, reflect, acknowledge and confront the systemic bias that exists for Black colleagues within our own academic community and also as part of the broader community.

As part of the day, the collaboration heard from two excellent speakers: Bradley Graupner, linguistic anthropologist from the University of Texas at Austin, and Laura Pitter, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s U.S. program. Their historical insights and analysis on systematic racism included many pointers on how members of the collaboration could recognize and act to dismantle the inequality in our society and correct biases in our community.

In addition, members of the collaboration engaged in a facilitated conversation on “Awareness and Change — How We Can Do Better.” Each panelist read an experience shared by Black scientists on the Twitter feed #BlackInTheIvory. Following this, the panelists and participants engaged in a discussion about racism and systemic barriers in academia, with a focus on the LHC community. The group brainstormed concrete actions to implement antiracist practices, attract and retain Black physicists, support them, and create an inclusive environment that enables their success.

US CMS and US ATLAS will continue the conversations to develop a set of sustainable action plans for the collaborations.

Fermilab scientist Anadi Canepa is the head of the Fermilab CMS Department. Brown University scientist Meenakshi Narain is the chair of the US CMS collaboration.