The other day, one of our Virtual Lab Managers, Ian Street, asked in our VLM Slack channel:
Has anyone seen a scientific supplier put out a public Black Lives Matter statement?
The only answer we could find is from industry giant ThermoFisher and their CEO Marc Casper’s politically correct statement that was vague and not what people will rally behind. NEB has retweeted some #BLM content. But where we saw every supplier and their sister company put out multiple statements about how they’re reacting to coronavirus, not much is happening on the human equality front. Does that say something about the operations of the scientific supply chain? Let’s change that.
HappiLabs 100% supports Black Lives Matter. We support disruption of systemic processes that are inherently racist, prejudiced, and sexist. We support people of color (POC) and their freedom to live the same quality of life as a white person. We support black scientists.
Black Lives Matter.
Therefore, as the CEO of a small business from Chicago, IL that specializes in shopping for lab supplies and equipment, I will make sure we leverage our network to be more proactive in support of the black community, and make changes in the scientific supply chain. Our 14 employees, 35+ labs, and 400+ scientists (and engineers) are a foundation that will promote change in the scientific community for years to come. We will provide immediate, small impact actions and stay focused on the harder, long-term battles for change.
Immediate, small impact actions:
- We are adding to our company holiday list: Election Day (vote for change!) and Martin Luther King, Jr Day.
- A commitment of monthly donations to Big Brothers Big Sisters (of Chicago) and Pilsen Food Pantry / Figueroa Wu Family Foundation.
- We have started buying from Neta Scientific–a family owned suppliers, the only black-owned, national lab supplier (that we’re aware of). HappiLabs has begun pushing business towards Neta. We support you Dr Winfred and Garnetta.
Longer term actions
- Maintain a diverse staff and improve our recruiting processes to attract more black and POC candidates.
- Encourage our scientists to avoid wealthy, institutionalized scientific suppliers.
- Raise awareness of smaller, diverse, and anti-racist suppliers.
Considering there are extremely few black- and POC-owned scientific suppliers, we will work to identify anti-racist organizations who are proactive and vocal about their interests to help change the scientific supply chain. Please let us know if you see scientific suppliers speaking out and supporting #BLM.
As always, science community, HappiLabs is here for you, fighting for equality and social justice (and an organized lab). Go science! Tom Ruginis, CEO