We started the meeting by discussing a fall event to train scientists to become activists within their institutions. The skills we’d focus on would be to develop recruitment strategies, how to facilitate meetings, formation of graduate student unions. The format would potentially be a (virtual) workshop or a (virtual) conference. Some in the meeting elevated the importance of making the event interactive and having concrete actions for participants to take during/after the event. The event is tentatively targeted for October. We will discuss further in future meetings about format and participants.
We discussed how to sell/distribute our copies of the SftP Magazine (The Science We Need). Potentially a virtual fair would be a venue. Please email email@example.com if you want a copy.
Next we follow-up on collection of statements on racial justice released by universities and institutions. We have created a folder for compilation of these statements. The plan is to force these institutions to follow up on their commitments by starting a media pressure campaign. We also discussed the possibility of intaking new statements through Google Forms and sharing more widely.
The last part of the meeting was dedicated to discussing the “Free the Vaccine” campaign. The campaign is the product of a collaboration between the Universities Allied for Essential Medicine (UAEM) and the Center for Artistic Activism (https://freethevaccine.org/about/). The main demands are that vaccine and treatment for COVID-19 be:
- Sustainably priced
- Free at the point of sale
- Universally available
This is an exciting campaign that our branch has decided to endorse.
SftP has published an article about the campaign. We discussed advertising #FreeTheVaccine via our announcement list and facilitating reach out to scientists.