by jantzl on July 16, 2020

A post is long overdue and I have delayed posting because I couldn’t see moving forward without acknowledging Black Lives Matter. And I didn’t know what to write.

On the one hand I feel a little ashamed only just posting now.

On the other hand I see some positives, at least these are what I’m telling myself: Better late than never. The conversation must continue and continue to be affirmed until the goals are met. It’s important that everyone who cares about Black Lives visibly affirm the movement. This bolsters supporters, influences others to join the cause, and can educate those who have less exposure.

Someone asked me “Why do you think that’s important? What does it matter if you do it?” (but in a supportive way, kind of in the vein of ‘check why you’re doing that’) For the reasons above, and also because I believe it’s everyone’s duty to contribute to the world that they want to see.

What does any of this have to do with technology or medicine? Quite a bit. Both fields have histories of contributing to injustice and causing harm. Both fields have disproportionately low Black representation. Both fields are working to improve and can do better.

What can we, PFS, do? We’re a small bunch. We’re not super influential. Someone suggested that we hire Black software developers. I will commit to this, as we grow. In the meantime, we can do the following join the voices already speaking up establish a non-discrimination policy affirm an equal hiring policy mentor disassociate from organizations whose values do not match ours educate the people around us support the people around us

If you have questions or thoughts for me, please reach out. I may not have answers. I care but I am not the best informed. I am working to learn and happy to share what I can or figure things out together.