The brutal police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and violence against members of the black community are outrageous and offensive to the ethical principles that guide our research at Project Zero.   In this moment, in which COVID-19 has exposed the social systems that enable racism, we stand in steadfast solidarity with the children, families, and communities of color who have been unjust victims of systemic prejudice.  As researchers interested in understanding and nurturing the potentials in all human beings – no matter race, religion, sexual orientation, age, or ethnicity --  it is our moral responsibility to speak out and to take action against issues of systemic racism and discrimination in our research, our outreach, our workplace, and our daily lives.
Over the past several years, we have taken steps in this direction: developing research questions and projects that explore issues of contemporary ethics; raising substantial funding for scholarships to make PZ’s work accessible to educators who work with historically marginalized young people; convening internally in small and large groups to examine the ways in which racism and privilege have affected our work and workplace; and developing new practices in PZ’s research and professional learning offerings to begin to make them more inclusive.
We realize our steps are small. They are neither deep enough nor sustained enough given the magnitude of the challenge we and educators face in attempting to bring about a more just world. We have much more to do to ensure that our work plays its part in explicitly addressing and dismantling institutionalized racism. Know that we are committed to this work and, in the coming weeks and months, will share its evolution as we learn, plan, and carry out steps toward supporting a more antiracist approach to our research projects and outreach.