As we continue to listen, learn, reflect, and work to combat racism and inequality in our society, we remain heartened by the power of demonstrations by people across the Commonwealth and around the globe and the dialogue it has generated with our civic, industry, nonprofit, and academic partners.
In Governor Baker’s remarks during the first week in June, he noted, “We all have an obligation to see and address these issues. We have an obligation to use our strength the right way to continue the march toward progress.” We wholeheartedly agree and believe that the succeeding days and weeks will demonstrate that the Commonwealth will always be a home to those that recognize our strength comes from a collective commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. At the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the foundation of our mission, programs and initiatives centers upon the inherent truth that a stronger life sciences ecosystem is a diverse one.
On June 2, Life Sciences Center staff had the privilege of joining a virtual poster session for Brockton High School students participating in a lab training program made possible by our High School Apprenticeship Challenge. While the pandemic hampered these diverse students of the hands-on experience they would have received, the virtual gathering demonstrated the absolute potential of young Massachusetts residents of various experiences, perspectives, and talents and an unyielding ability to learn, share, and grow.
The times in which we live illustrate all too clearly that there are no easy answers. As several reports and studies have shown, the COVID-19 mortality rate for African Americans is nearly three times as high as the rate for white people. Perhaps the most unfortunate aspect of this finding is that it does not surprise us that communities of color too often pay the hardest tolls.
People are suffering and dying and there is a call upon us all to use our strength to come together. At the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, we are committed to diversity and to being an ally for those impacted by inequalities and disparities. We recognize that our sector and our society need more than words and past actions to claim success. We promise to work diligently with our partners across the life sciences spectrum, now and in the future, to be catalysts of the change we know is possible in the world.