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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Statement from the Chair: A pledge to fight racism and racial inequalities

To the BMB Community,

I am heartbroken over the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. I am sickened that our national death toll from COVID-19 is rapidly increasing above 100,000, and that this disease disproportionately affects our communities of color. I am outraged that this is just one more disease that affects our Black communities disproportionately thanks to the systemized racism in our healthcare system.

I know I am not alone in this feeling. For every person of color in our department, I want you to know that you are not alone in this fight.

I ask all of you, regardless of your race, country of origin or political beliefs to reach out to check in on your students and colleagues, friends and neighbors, to make sure they are OK. Some of those conversations will be difficult and uncomfortable, but they are important.

I ask you to stand up for each other and for equality, and to be intolerant of racism, sexism, and injustice, but to do it in ways that are constructive, and can make a real and lasting impact.

If you are looking to learn more about these topics, the BMB Diversity and Inclusion Committee has created a page of resources about diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice.

As a Chair, one of my priorities has been to ensure BMB is a department that encourages diversity and embraces inclusion of all people. I pledge that we will work hard as a department to find those paths forward, in our own labs, and backyards and in our communities in Baltimore and beyond. We can make the world a better place if we work together, I firmly believe that.

To anyone in the BMB community, I am open to any thoughts that you all have on how to forge forward, or even if you just need someone to talk to, please reach out. I’m here and ready to help however I can.


Ashani Weeraratna, PhD
E.V. McCollum Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor