Letter from the President

 

 

Dear Community,

Thank you for visiting our site and checking out what the Society for Black Brain and Behavioral Scientists is about. I first envisioned this organization as an undergraduate at Northwestern University. My major was Cognitive Science with a concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience, and even though it was a small major, I recognized about one person from the major on graduation day. Naturally, I was the only black student. Even outside of my major, there were only a handful of people with whom I’d taken more than a couple of classes. I had no consistent academic community within my field. Meanwhile, all around me I could see the benefits afforded to my peers of color in other career tracks, which gave them that sense of community. Be it through summer programs, study tables, homework partners, networking, and general support through rough times, academic community shaped the experience of my black peers and helped them excel.

Now, as a young professional, I can still see and feel the need for such a community for black scientists in neuroscience, psychology, and other related fields. As a minority, it can often be more difficult to make the connections necessary to have a highly successful career. I wanted to combat the potentially isolating feeling of being one of few black scientists in the neural and behavioral sciences. I looked for an existing organization such as this, but found none that were all-inclusive and non-competitive. Thus, the Society for Black Brain and Behavioral Scientists, or SB3S, was born.

It is my hope that this organization can grow to be one that actively and positively changes the career paths of many black scientists. Through our programming, we aim to train and sustain our members throughout the life cycle of their careers. I believe that this needs to be done holistically by addressing issues of health, job experience, networking, funding and knowledge of and access to opportunities. With community support, I believe this can be achieved.

Part of the reason that there are so few black neuroscientists and psychologists is due to a lack of resources, but a large part of the reason is due to a lack of knowledge and exposure. Therefore, another goal of mine is to supply the black community with knowledge of the fascinating things you can learn by studying the brain, how we communicate with others, or even how thought happens. We can prepare new waves of black brain and behavioral scientists by simply exposing people to the possibilities open to them and showing them avenues of pursuing their goals. Additionally, we can create a healthier community if more people know how the brain works as well as how and why we behave the way we do.

Thank you for time and consideration and I hope this society can be of service to you.

Sincerely,
Tiara Starks
Founder and President of the Society for Black Brain and Behavioral Scientists