CSUPERB Antiracism Statement and Response to Theory of Racial Intelligence from CSU East Bay Professor
Anti-racist: someone who has made a conscious decision to dismantle and fight against racism at the structural, institutional and personal levels.
The California State University, East Bay campus recently found itself in controversy when complaints of an emeritus faculty member teaching a theory that race influences intelligence surfaced. In his theory, he asserts that certain Black and Hispanic ethnic groups are not as intelligent as white Europeans and Northern Asians (Hurd). Faculty on the CSU East Bay campus responded to these claims noting the methods, findings and framework that support this theory have been debunked* (Hurd).
Promoting baseless claims is not in keeping with any faculty member's charge of communicating correct, fact-based information in the classroom. Universities historically protect free discourse surrounding uncomfortable and unpopular topics (the chief purpose of faculty tenure), but teaching theories in our classrooms that advance discrimination is harmful to students, especially to members of Black and Hispanic ethnic groups, and should not be tolerated. It is equally harmful when faculty with these values serve on committees that recruit and evaluate faculty as they are likely to show bias to a candidate or faculty of Black and Hispanic ethnic groups. This also should not be tolerated. CSUPERB condemns the promulgation of gross inaccuracies about race in the strongest possible terms.
The East Bay situation may represent a recent high-profile case of racism on a CSU campus, and forces all of us to acknowledge that racism has not been eradicated in the CSU. Only by confronting incidents such as this one (and the many smaller, lower profile incidents that happen each day) will we end racism. This is an especially important goal in University system as large and diverse as the CSU.
As an affinity group within the CSU system, CSUPERB has a history of engaging diverse students and faculty of all races, genders and creeds in biotechnology education and research efforts. We stand behind the belief and science that diversity and inclusion benefits everyone. When students from underrepresented backgrounds persist in STEM degrees, graduate and enter the biotechnology workforce, it diminishes the equity gaps that are one of the chief consequences of racism and oppression. CSUPERB also supports faculty with programs that equip them to successfully work with our diverse population of CSU students, but we all can and must do more.
At CSUPERB, we support our faculty and students in their antiracist journeys whether in learning or action. We encourage CSUPERB faculty and students who observe and document systemic racism in their own contexts to actively work to dismantle these systems. We urge the following:
We also recognize that some members of our community may be experiencing a range of emotions in relation to this situation. We encourage students, faculty and staff to seek support at their campus counseling or psychological services office.
As a support to our CSUPERB community, we will use our November CSUPERB Safe Space as a place to openly discuss anti-racism within the CSU and in society at large. We invite you to attend the November CSUPERB Safe Space on Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 2:30 pm. Please register at
“In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist." ― Angela Y. Davis
CSUPERB Anti-racism website:https://www2.calstate.edu/impact-of-the-csu/research/csuperb/Pages/Antiracism.aspx *References that debunk claims made at CSU EB:https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/22888 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/hast.493 Media source regarding CSU EB:Hurd, Cheryl “Outcry Over CSUEB Professor Who Teaches Theory of Race Influencing Intelligence."
NBC Bay Area, 31 October, 2020,
https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/east-bay/outcry-over-csueb-professor-who-teaches-theory-of-race-influencing-intelligence/2389193/. Accessed 6 November 2020.
In light of the recent killings of Black Americans and the protests that erupted after, it is clear the time to eradicate racism is now. The webinar will consist of a short introduction on some of the data surrounding the unequal treatment of Black Americans at the hands of police to contextualize the recent violence and its relevance to those in STEM. After, there will be a breakout session for students, faculty, staff and administrators to provide a space for discussion, individual responses and the sharing of personal experiences, with the intention of nucleating the next steps our community should take in addressing the diverse needs of biotechnologically-oriented students and faculty on this topic across the CSU system.
This webinar is a response to the current events in America. After the videos and images of the deaths of black Americans, the country has erupted in non-stop protests calling for ending racism. This call has been heard in the STEM community and has prompted CSUPERB to reflect on our commitment to eradicate racism. We have decided to create formalized programming to support this commitment. This webinar is our first step and will be moderated by Christine Montgomery, the CSUPERB Student Programs Specialist. She received her M.S. in Criminal Justice/Criminology from SDSU and has conducted research on implicit bias in San Diego police officers.
Please look out for more programming over this next academic year. We will provide educational programming through webinars, and other means throughout the year, using scientific data to provide context to the racial inequality in America. In addition, we will provide resources to equip PI’s, mentors and students to better navigate this topic. We will be a place of safety where those affected by racism can speak openly and heal. The biotechnology community is not immune from racism; we have much work to do.
Please view our July 15th webinar below.
The full webinar can be viewed on our Youtube channel:
Click Here (https://youtu.be/WkU-d7yG0Ac)
Webinar transcript is available, linked here.
To read the questions asked by participants, you can
read the webinar chat log by clicking here.