August 5, 2020

This space is being constructed at a time when our physical community has been dispersed because of a world pandemic. It is a time when our need for community and the structures that create it are revealed, for better or worse, in sharp focus. As we imagine a day when we are able to reunite, there seems no better time to examine the instruments that shape our community and how they might be changed for the better.

What led to the actual creation of this space was the eruption of the world into protest over the killing of black citizens by police officers, and the anger and often difficult conversations that followed. Although these pages are part of our aspiration for a much more open and welcoming community in mathematics, these words are here as a reminder that this new chapter began with a sense of outrage at the criminalization and devaluation of a race of people, and the conviction that we, in our community can do better. So here, at the entrance to our community space we make the following commitment. We will stand with the Black community in the insistence on their rights to respect, safety, equal educational opportunities, and equal job opportunities, and we promise to listen, to learn and to support.

Michael Hopkins
George Putnam Professor and Chair
Department of Mathematics