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Statement in Support of Black Students and Alumni of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

June 26, 2020

Statement in Support of Black Students and Alumni of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy


Our Responsibility to Act Now Against Racism at IMSA


We, the IMSA Alumni Association (IAA) cabinet, represent the voice of all IMSA alumni, regardless of race/ethnicity, sex or gender, class, sexuality, or ability. As such, it is our responsibility to clearly denounce racism in the world and at IMSA in all its forms: structural, institutional, interpersonal, and even internalized. 

In light of the recent (but not new) killings of unarmed Black people at the hands of law enforcement, we acknowledge the long history of anti-Black racism in the United States.  Extending from the first shipment of enslaved Africans in 1619 to the unequal educational and financial opportunities in Black neighborhoods that persist to the present day, Black Americans still suffer from institutional and systemic racism daily. These tools of oppression are not relegated to courtrooms or lending institutions alone: they persist throughout academia and in STEM fields as well. We, the IAA cabinet, acknowledge that racism, in all its forms, exists at IMSA. As such, we are responsible for fixing a system and culture that is broken, yet upheld by our very own. 

We stalwartly support Black students and Black alumni. We do not want to simply discuss racism at IMSA and devolve into empty platitudes. We aim to take specific, measurable, assignable, relevant, and time-sensitive (S.M.A.R.T.) action to improve the experiences of Black students at IMSA. We consider this problem urgent. 

To this end, we have two announcements:

1.    A group of alumni and allies have formed a Black Alumni Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, through which Black alumni and allies can network, share experiences, support current students, and raise funds in support of student initiatives. This entity is separate from the IAA and IMSA and is still in formation. If you are interested in joining this group or would like more information, please email imsa.blackalumni@gmail.com

2.    We will be holding two moderated forums to suggest a list of S.M.A.R.T. demands that we will send to the leadership of IMSA on behalf of alumni. These meetings will be moderated by the IAA cabinet and are open to all alumni. To maintain focus and efficiency, we welcome you to submit suggestions ahead of the meetings, which we will compile and discuss.
a.    Wednesday, July 1, 2020, 6:00pm Central Time [Note: This forum was cancelled.]
Please submit your suggestions and indicate your desire to participate via the form at the following link: https://forms.gle/MYca14TGvJ78qnFFA

As alumni, we have the power to change IMSA for the better. We welcome you to join us in the fight for racial equality at our high school and help to ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.

Sachin Agarwal, 1998
Richard Bergstrom, 1994
Brian Cudiamat, 1996
Dyanna Gregory, 1997
Matthew Isoda, 2002
Tamora Kimmitt, 1991
Jasmine Kwasa, 2009
Zouyan Lu, 2002
Tim Messer, 2000
Stephen Paige, 2000