The events over the past few weeks stemming from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has saddened and shocked many across the world. It is completely understandable that people are feeling angry and hurt, because I too share those feelings as do others in our organization. My deepest condolences go to George’s loved ones and everyone affected by his horrific death. I realize, however, that thoughts and prayers alone are not enough. It is my strongest belief that each of us must make a conscious effort and hold one another accountable as we stand against systemic racism in our communities and do more to address injustices that remain with us today.
For those of us who were born or reside internationally, it is imperative we recognize that racism is not the problem of one country alone. Sadly, in my home country of Canada, racism remains a reality for some. There are countless examples across the globe of persons of color facing racial injustice. We must double down on our efforts to create societies where people do not have to endure such prejudice and discrimination. We as a human race deserve that.
Our organization seeks to create the next generation of commercial astronauts. In our endeavor, there is no room for racism. To successfully push humanity forward in its exploration of space, this most dangerous and difficult of frontiers requires the drive, determination, and ingenuity of people with diverse lived experiences. Without this, we will fail. This is why I will engage with the Aerospace Medicine Students’ and Residents’ Organization (AMSRO) Diversity Committee and other organizations to understand what more ASP can do to promote diversity and inclusion within our organization.
I firmly believe that a world where more people from varying communities can live and work together in space will make our collective future a brighter one. Now is our time to create the world we want for all of humanity and for future generations. Diversity should be respected and celebrated.
I challenge you to stand with me as we make that world a reality.
President and CEO
Association of Spaceflight Professionals, Inc.