VSS Statement on the Murder of George Floyd and Social Justice

June 9, 2020

The death of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer is yet another heart-wrenching act of racism and violence against Black Americans. It serves as a reminder of the persistent systemic racism in the U.S. and elsewhere. The ensuing protests have given voice to this unacceptable situation, and VSS joins with many others in expressing our profound outrage, frustration, and sadness. Black lives matter. We call on leaders in the United States as well as around the world to take steps to systematically address the root causes of events exemplified by the murder of George Floyd and of so many other Black Americans.

We must also tackle these issues within our own community. We acknowledge and recognize the lack of diversity within vision sciences and VSS. Our culture should be respectful and welcoming for all, with vigorous efforts to oppose and prevent prejudicial treatment or obstacles based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, language, ability, and other forms of diversity. VSS pledges to increase its efforts to promote diversity in the field of vision science and in the VSS community. We are taking the following initial steps: At its January 2020 meeting, the VSS Board established a committee to promote Diversity, Inclusion and Respect. That committee will hold a townhall at V-VSS 2020. We welcome the participation of the membership in our efforts. Members are also encouraged to email vss@visionsciences.org with ideas on how VSS can improve in this critical area.

The VSS Board wishes our members health, safety, and the resolve to find a way forward in these challenging times and encourages you all to take care of yourselves and each other.