Racism and Reaffirming Core Values of the MBL


March 25, 2021

The Woods Hole Diversity Initiative condemns the recent violence and racist attacks against Asians and Asian Americans across our nation. These events harm not only our Asian colleagues and neighbors and their families, but also threaten the very fabric of our community. Together, we are committed to stand against racial violence, discrimination, xenophobia, and misinformation, whether such actions are directed against Asians and Asian Americans, or any other member of our community.

We cannot be bystanders, nor should we let injustice pass when we see it. The Woods Hole scientific community’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion principles recognizes our fundamental human dignity and seeks to build community for people of all races, ethnicities, gender identity, sexual orientation, and abilities. We will continue our work to address systemic racism and other cognitive biases, and examine ourselves and our institutions to identify the many ways our culture, processes, and policies can be changed to be more representative, supportive, and just.

Peg Brandon, President
Sea Education Association

Peter de Menocal, President and Director
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Philip Duffy, President and Executive Director
Woodwell Climate Research Center

Jon Hare, Director
NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center

Nipam Patel, Director
Marine Biological Laboratory

Rob Thieler, Center Director
USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Chair, Woods Hole Diversity Initiative

June 2, 2020

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The tragic circumstances surrounding the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and a number of other recent acts of racially motivated violence painfully remind us that for too long we have ignored the systemic discrimination and unjust bias that plagues our nation. We recognize the pain this brings to all in our community, particularly those who live with the knowledge that the color of their skin unjustly makes them a target of hate.

We are seeing the cumulative anguish and frustration from generations of racial disparity and systemic oppression in our country manifested in the solidarity of peaceful protest. At this moment in our history, it is essential that we reaffirm and embrace the core values of the MBL. Every individual on our campus must be treated with dignity and respect in a safe and comfortable work and learning environment. As a community we must not tolerate racism and social injustice.  We commit ourselves to combating these injustices by creating a climate focused on equity, civility, respect, and safety for all individuals in our MBL and Woods Hole community. These lofty ambitions take great effort. As an institution we are working to understand how best to make these changes, and welcome input from the members of the MBL community.

Despite our physical distance at this time, we ask you to support one another in a shared commitment to creating the most inclusive and diverse community that we possibly can – one that fosters trust and values and encourages the contributions and perspectives of every one of its members.

Thank you for your attention to this serious issue and for your commitment to our shared values.


Nipam H. Patel, Director
Adam Carter, Director, Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Administration
Alison Crawford, Chief of Staff
Ann Egan, Director, Human Resources
Mary S. Harrington, Director, Finance
Gina Hebert, Director, Communications
Scott Koerner, Director, Information Technology
Sebastien Laye, Chief Advancement Officer
Linda Hyman, Burroughs Wellcome Director of Education
David Mark Welch, Director of Research; Co-Chair, MBL Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee
Jennifer Morgan, Director, Bell Center for Regenerative Biology & Tissue Engineering; Chair, MBL Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee
Marie Russell, Director, Facilities and Services
Paul Speer, Chief Operating Officer
Jennifer Walton, Director, Library Services; Co-Director, MBLWHOI Library