STEM Strike for Black lives, Wed, June 10

STEM Strike for Black lives, Wed, June 10


This coming Wednesday, June 10 there will be a general STEM strike for Black lives. I and many Cal-Bridge scholars and faculty plan to participate. The Cal-Bridge program is sponsoring activities that day for members of the Cal-Bridge community (details below). 

To learn more about the strike and actions you can take, go to these websites:

In particular, go to the page describing the strike: . Here is a short summary from that page:


We will stop all usual academic work for the day, including teaching, research, and service responsibilities. All ordinary meetings of classes, research groups, and seminars should be cancelled or replaced with discussions with colleagues about anti-black bias in the world and in academia. 

We will also stop activities that advance our own scholarship, including performing research, reading and submitting papers, or sending e-mails about research.

The strike is not a “day off” for non-Black scientists, but a day to engage in academia’s core mission to build a better society for everyone; see below for suggested actions that participants can take on strike day to educate themselves and advocate for change in their communities. Those [of us] who are Black academics should take the day to do whatever nourishes their hearts, whether that’s protesting, organizing, or watching “Astronomy Club.”

In the spirit of taking action, Cal-Bridge is organizing two meetings, one for faculty, one for scholars, to come together voluntarily to reflect on what we can do individually, in our departments, and most importantly as an organization and community to combat anti-black racism in academia and our society. In addition, the Directors of the Cal-Bridge program will meet later in the day to reflect on the feedback provided by these two constituencies and create an action plan to implement with further input and participation from all members of the Cal-Bridge community.

We support and encourage the black members of our community to follow the suggestions of the leadership of this strike and nourish their hearts on this day, whether that includes participating in these events or not. To our non-black community members, these meetings are voluntary and should you choose not to participate, we hope you still take time on Wednesday to learn, listen, and take actions against anti-black racism. 

The activities for the day that Cal-Bridge is sponsoring include:

Meeting of Cal-Bridge affiliated faculty

Time: 10:30-11:30am PT

Purpose: To reflect, as largely privileged, non-black persons with a great deal of power in academia on what specific actions we can take to fight anti-black racism, as individuals, in our home departments, as as part of the Cal-Bridge community

Zoom link:
Password: Provided in e-mail

Meeting of Cal-Bridge scholars

Time:  1:00-2:00pm PT; 2:00-3:00pm MT; 3:00-4:00pm CT; 4:00-5:00pm ET

Purpose: To discuss what actions scholars can take in combating anti-blackness within academia and their wider communities, and to provide feedback to the Cal-Bridge Program about what we as a program can do to support you and take part in these endeavors

Zoom link:
Password: Provided in e-mail

Because everyone’s feelings will be raw, and because these issues can be uncomfortable to talk about, there will be some ground rules for the meeting: 

  1. Respect and listening is key, especially for white and other non-black participants. That does not mean that it is up to Black participants to carry the conversation or educate others. It just means to check yourself and see if you are dominating the conversation or taking up too much “air-time”, and if you are to stop and listen more. 
  2. If someone’s words are hurtful or problematic, participants can use the Oops/Ouch method to respond. If you are not familiar with this concept, please click on the link and read it (it is short) before the meeting.

The goal of the meetings will be for all of us, as a group, to reflect on what we, as individuals, and what Cal-Bridge, as an organization, can do going forward to combat anti-black racism. To aid you in preparing for the meeting, we would like to ask you to visit the ShutDownSTEM website page for action. Click on the various roles at the bottom of the page to see what you can do and what you can advise others to do. These suggestions can seed the conversation on Wednesday.

In addition, here are a few videos that might help educate you a bit on some of the issues surrounding anti-black racism in the United States:

There are many more resources out there and in the coming weeks, the Cal-Bridge program will be assembling some of them and making them available on our website. 

We hope to see you all on Wednesday! If you have any questions in the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact me.

In solidarity,
Alex Rudolph
Director, Cal-Bridge