These are unsettling and emotional times. The brutal killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis has mixed with the extreme inequities in harm to Black lives and livelihoods from the COVID-19 pandemic. We denounce all manner of violence, indignity and unfairness that continue to diminish Black lives worldwide and we stand in solidarity with our students and colleagues of color as we together strive to confront and dismantle racism.
We also wish to underscore how much we, as a community of affective scientists, can contribute to reimagining and rebuilding communities and institutions with equity, justice and room for all to breathe and thrive.
First, we can contribute empirical insights, into how affective phenomena – emotions, moods, and other motivated states – profoundly shape human judgment, behavior and health. Affective science is indeed vital for helping people understand and mitigate racial stereotypes, discrimination and disparities.
Second, we can contribute our humanity, our unwavering dedication to help pull that long arc of the moral universe, described by Martin Luther King, Jr., toward respect and kindness for all. We can make our labs, our classrooms, our Universities, and other organizations that we call home into safer and more welcoming environments. This includes the Society for Affective Science (SAS), which was founded on principles of inclusion and diversity. Like other past SAS leaders, we commit to increasing diversity in access to resources and opportunities in and through our Society.
We also ask that if you see a path toward making a positive difference – whether through your research, your teaching, your service, or your donations to organizations on the front lines of creating justice – please take it. If that path means offering us at SAS feedback on how we might better live up to our core values of inclusion and diversity, please take that as well. As a living and learning Society, there is always room for improvement.