SEEDS Inaugural Statement of Solidarity
We find ourselves in a historical moment where science, technology, engineering and mathematics are unquestioned as important and necessary for participating in an increasingly technological and diverse society. In contrast, researchers with a long commitment to addressing equity and social justice issues, many of whom are scholars of color, have moved beyond mainstream ways of superficially addressing “STEM” education that do not explicitly address the role of power, hegemony, and oppression in science education. Instead, we seek to tackle issues directly and with transformative action. To this end, Science Educators for Equity, Diversity and Social Justice is an organization committed to researching, building, and sustaining transformative science education with all students through critical engagement.
Given the political moment in which we currently find ourselves, and in light of the increased bullying and attacks (e.g., https://www.splcenter.org/20161128/trump-effect-impact-2016-presidential-election-our-nations-schools) directed toward women and girls, LGBTQIA people; people of non-Christian faith, such as Muslims and Jews; people who are working class, poor, and/or homeless; immigrant and refugee communities; people with disabilities; Black, LatinX, Asian, indigenous, and American Indian communities, we feel it important to state clearly and firmly that we stand with you, and each other. We stand against unjust deportations. We stand against misogyny and trans/homophobia. We stand against anti-Semitism. We stand against xenophobia, racism, and anti-blackness. We stand to protect our planet, and our ecological communities, and slow the impact of human-induced climate change. We stand against economic and environmental injustice, and the contamination of our land, air, and water--contamination which disproportionately affects minoritized communities. SEEDS embraces science education as an important tool for transformative action and social/environmental justice. We recognize that critical and public engagement with any and all forms of oppression is essential, particularly in these times--even if/as we become increasingly targeted for our commitments to critical scholarship and public intellectualism. We stand in support of each other as we continue on this journey together.
We at Science Educators for Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice (SEEDS) stand united in opposition to the Trump administration's proposed identification of gender only through genetic testing and as a 'biological reality' determined solely by 'genitalia provided at birth.' We also want to make explicit that our formal position at SEEDS, as an organization pursuing equitable and intersectional social justice, is one of resounding opposition to any attempt to marginalize, oppress, and exclude members of our community. Below we highlight tenets of this statement of solidarity aligned with Trans+ social justice in the face of policies being supported that marginalize and oppress our community members. Principally, we argue that the most recent proposed policy change is outright dehumanizing:
- Historical and present day discriminatory policies towards Trans+ subject positions need to be understood as also intimately connected to racist/white nationalist colonial rhetoric;
- These policies embody reductionist paradigms denying intersectional analyses of the material realities that Trans+ people face on a daily basis due to bias and ignorance, oftentimes leading to physical, psychological, and spiritual violence toward our members;
- Through decentering the voices of the Trans+ community, and disregarding gender identity justice more broadly in historical account and present day political movements, the proposed policy inaccurately represents the dissemination and application of scientific theories related to the interplay between identity, gender, sex, and sexuality;
- We situate policies such as this within a long history of scientific praxis being used inaccurately, inappropriately, and unethically to exclude;
- No one has the right to decide another person’s gender identity based on “ biological traits identifiable by or before birth.”
Science Educators for Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice (SEEDS)
ALBERTO J. RODRIGUEZ
email@example.com AND firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean Rockford Aguilar-Valdez
For a complete list of Committee Members and ways to contribute to SEEDS click here.