A Statement to Our Community

I write you as the president of SSA, a global society of Earth scientists that values the diversity of voices and backgrounds in our community. Along with the rest of the SSA leadership, I am disturbed and disheartened by the senseless killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Recent racist events are a frank reminder that many in our Society, our colleagues and our friends confront discrimination in their daily lives.

SSA stands with all our colleagues and their families in these challenging times. We remain committed to countering bias and prejudice. We stand firmly behind our ethics policy, which states: “SSA rejects discrimination or harassment by any means, including that based on ethnic or national origin, race, religion, citizenship, language, political or other opinion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, age or economic class.”

SSA’s goal is to make seismological science accessible to all. As such, we are committed to helping, mentoring and providing opportunities to all our members. Our Society was born in the aftermath of the tragic 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and we are committed to continuing to use science to build a safer and more peaceable world. We cannot afford to lose ground to ignorance and hate.

Last week I participated in the first of two virtual ally training workshops, which had been planned as in-person trainings at the Annual Meeting in Albuquerque. Led by consultant Sherry Marts, the workshop focused on how we can, individually and collectively, support each other when confronting discriminatory behavior. It was thought-provoking and useful, and I encourage you to register for the next training scheduled for June 23. Workshops on related topics are planned for later this summer.

Finally, on behalf of the Board of Directors, we ask our community to continue to reach out to each other in support and friendship; to do what we can to make sure we stay safe and healthy; to speak up, participate in hard conversations and be an ally; and to foster an environment in which all voices are heard and valued. As always, we remain open to your ideas and initiatives.

Best Regards
Bill Walter
SSA President