DPOLY’s Commitment to Address Racial Injustice

June 2020

Dear DPOLY Members,

We are deeply saddened and outraged by the recent killings of George Floyd and other members of the Black community, which reflect ongoing, systematic racism in our society. These events serve as striking reminders of astonishing inequities in policing and health care, among other issues, resulting in anxiety and anguish for members of our community and beyond.

DPOLY commits to providing a safe, welcoming, and inclusive community that is free from discrimination and racism. We fully support the APS Leadership Letter Condemning Racism. Achieving our collective goal requires a strong commitment by our entire membership, including our members from academia, industry, and national labs.

The DPOLY Executive Committee will take the following actions:

  • We will reassess the Executive Committee policies and procedures, and how they impact the Black community and other underrepresented communities.
  • DPOLY will facilitate growing a group of allies that will build an integral DPOLY community. We seek mechanisms to broaden the scope of our community and our action and advocacy. We have some preliminary ideas for possible actions by DPOLY, in particular for improving the pipeline for people into polymer science, such as:
    • Travel grants to bring underrepresented undergraduates to DPOLY meetings, along with support such as networking sessions and guidance on how to get value from the meeting.
    • Engagement by DPOLY members with groups local to the location of each March meeting, to improve the visibility of polymer science and encourage participation by underrepresented groups; focus on e.g., HBCUs, MSIs, and local industry.

We will continue to discuss and consider thoughtful ways forward and will report back to our community.

We suggest DPOLY members can take the following actions:

  • We recognize that there are shortcomings in addressing racism in our community. We welcome ideas about actions DPOLY could take. If you have suggestions, please share them with us (email to Amalie Frischknecht and Ramanan Krishnamoorti) by July 15, 2020. The DPOLY Executive Committee will compile ideas and make plans for concrete actions, and get back to the DPOLY community in August. We also commit to report progress on our actions at the 2021 March Meeting.
  • DPOLY serves a diverse community, and we need representation of our community on the leadership team. We strongly encourage nominations of Black candidates, along with Latinx, LGTBQ+, women, and other underrepresented communities. Please send suggestions to the Chair of the Nominating Committee, Chinedum Osuji, by September 30, 2020.

Finally, we list a few resources as food for thought and possible ways for members to take proactive roles in improving our workplaces, our division, and the APS at large:


The DPOLY Executive Committee:

  • Amalie Frischknecht (Chair)
  • Ramanan Krishnamoorti (Chair Elect)
  • Mahesh Mahanthappa (Vice Chair)
  • Jan Genzer (Past Chair)
  • Murugappan Muthukumar (Division Councilor)
  • Steven Hudson (Treasurer)
  • Zahra Fakhraai (Member-at-Large)
  • Alan Nakatani (Member-at-Large)
  • Thomas Epps III (Member-at-Large)
  • Thomas O’Connor (Early Career/Student Member)