Black lives matter.
Ginkgo has and will always stand for equality. We stand with the Black community against racism, systemic injustice, and police brutality.
At Ginkgo, we work with the most powerful technology on earth—biology—to solve some of the greatest challenges we all face. But science and technology are political, and deeply entrenched in systems of racism and oppression. Embedded in every technology are the biases and perspectives of the people who built it—from the history of color film to the present debates over facial recognition.
Because our technology is biology it affects everyone—our bodies, our food, our environment, our medicine. And none of these can be separated from the injustices of our society and the inequalities in public health, food systems, and the impacts of pollution and climate change. We must ensure that both the risks and the benefits of synthetic biology are justly distributed.
A first step is making sure that the people building the technology reflect the diversity of those who will be impacted by it. We’ve long sought to be transparent about our efforts towards diversity within the synthetic biology community, and have committed to increasing the diversity on our team. But our efforts have been far from enough. Today, only 2% of our team identifies as Black or African American. This has to change.
Simply putting more efforts into hiring a diverse team and creating inclusive environments, as important as that is, is also not enough. We must also examine the technologies we develop, urgently, openly, and inclusive of the ecosystems we are part of—our communities and our natural environment. We must incorporate the diverse voices and visions of all those who play a role in the future of biology.
So as we continue to build our platform, and especially as we build diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19, which is disproportionately impacting communities of color, we are committing $1M towards building a more equitable company, technology, and society. This will take many forms, from programs for recruiting, training, and inclusion within Ginkgo, to supporting and sponsoring organizations that promote the inclusion of marginalized communities in biotechnology.
We plan on sharing more about our efforts in the weeks to come. We will continue to reflect on this today during #ShutDownSTEM #strike4blacklives and every day until there is justice, knowing our response to systemic racism cannot be tied to a singular action or announcement.
We call upon our peers in the biology industry to do the same and to our community to hold us accountable for meeting these goals.