This week on #TakeActionTuesday, 500 Women Scientists asks you to #StandWithBennett to ensure the continued accreditation of Bennett College, one of two remaining historically black colleges for women. We’ll also keep working to keep the government open and prevent future shutdowns, which only serve to harm science and our society.
Bennett College is an HBCU founded in 1873 in North Carolina to ensure equal and quality liberal arts education for women of color. As such, it is only one of two HBCUs for women in the United States. Despite their reputation and commitment to nurturing the talent of Black women, Bennett is facing the loss of its accreditation by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges if it does not meet its fundraising goals by Friday, February 1st. To help Bennett meet its goals to maintain its accreditation, donate here.
"HBCUs still serve as a beacon of hope, access and opportunity for so many Black young people across this country... This is an opportunity for us to support Black women." - @MsPackyetti #StandWithBennett https://t.co/O9V9rzFjp6 pic.twitter.com/qSEgv6tZuc— Pod Save The People (@PodSaveThePpl) January 17, 2019
End Federal Shutdowns
After a historic 35-day shutdown, the government finally reopened Friday night, funding federal agencies through February 15. Over the last month and a half, 800,000 federal workers either worked without pay or were barred from doing their jobs. The shutdown has had enormous consequences for people living across the country who rely on the government for their livelihoods and cost the US economy an irrecoverable $3 billion, according to a Congressional Budget Office report. The shutdown will also have a lasting impact on science in America—from funding agencies facing backlogs of grant proposals to the vandalism of national parks like Joshua Tree to preventing people from receiving the medical care they need due to financial constraints. We have three weeks to ensure that another shutdown doesn’t happen again. Here’s what you can do:
Call your representatives. You can reach your House representative at 202-225-3121 and your Senators at 202-224-3121. Be sure to let them know that you are a constituent and be clear about your concerns should we enter another shutdown. If you’re nervous to call, you can write a script with what you’d like to say to refer to during the call. Remember, they’re accountable to you, the voter!
Voice support bipartisan legislation to prevent future shutdowns. Lawmakers have been entertaining the idea of passing bipartisan legislation to ensure that shutdowns no longer occur and that government operations persist even if Congress has not yet passed a budget. There are a number of proposals in the works, so when you call your representatives, you can also tell them that you’d like to see action taken to prevent future shutdowns.
Participate in local actions. Over the next three weeks, advocacy groups around the country will lead events and action to create pressure to pass a budget compromise. Stay plugged into your local community’s channels to see what they’ve got cooking up.