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Statement of Solidarity

With the Black Lives Matter Movement


The Stress Measurement Network stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and so many other Black lives that have been taken by police violence. We also recognize that their deaths are a part of a system of long-standing structural and institutional racism, supported by hundreds of years of white supremacy in the United States. The injustice, inequality, and pain experienced by Black individuals are at the root of the stark racial disparities in health and well-being in America. Racism in all of its many, toxic forms is built so deeply into our nation’s history and culture that it is often invisible to those who benefit from it.


As a Network focused on the links between mental and physical health, we know that we can and must do better when it comes to understanding and dismantling the systems of racial oppression that are pervasive in our country, academia, and research. As we listen, learn, and confront our own contributions to systemic racism, we are working to develop actionable steps to use our Network to support anti-racism initiatives. For the immediate future, we commit to the following:

1.Expanding our digital Stress Measurement Toolbox to include a more comprehensive set of resources for measurement of racism and other aspects of race-related stress. As racism is a powerful and pervasive chronic stressor, supporting expansion and innovation in race-related stress research falls squarely within our Network’s mission.

2. Amplifying and supporting the voices and work of Black scholars and other marginalized groups, particularly in the field of stress science and adjacent research fields.

3. Critically examining our Network’s initiatives and internal organizational practices to identify the influence of systemic racism, as well as identifying ways that the Network can help move the field of stress science toward a new norm reflecting anti-racism.

As Stress Measurement Network affiliates, we invite you to join in our initiatives and help this effort that takes the full village. There are several ways to do this. First, help build the Stress Network’s race-related stress resources by sharing measures you have worked with or created. We are seeking a wide variety of measures of racism and race-related stress.  For example, this includes:

  • a wider range of types of racism at all levels, beyond interpersonal racism (e.g., systemic racism, structural stigma, institutional racism)

  • measures of experiences of racism across shorter term time scales (e.g., daily or momentary experiences)

  • new and innovative measures of racism and race-related stress that go beyond self-report and span unconscious, behavioral, cognitive, and group-level measures (e.g., neighborhood, institutional)

Second, share with us the work of Black scholars in stress science and adjacent fields, as we will be highlighting their work on our website and social media pages in the coming weeks. We will also highlight important research findings using measures of racism and discrimination and novel measures in this area. We invite you to share your own work or the work of others.

Finally, we encourage you to engage in learning and conversations about the influence of systemic racism on the fields of stress science, health psychology, and behavioral medicine. Moving the field forward requires active engagement and willingness to transform the way we think about science. Race-related stress resources, articles, questions, and comments can be directed to Crucially, this process and our initiatives will continue to evolve in the coming weeks, months, and years. Long after the protests abate and the national conversation shifts, we will remain steadfast in our commitment to anti-racist initiatives.


Elissa Epel, Co-Director Wendy Berry Mendes, Co-Director Aric A. Prather, Associate Director Alexandra D. Crosswell, Associate Director Kimberly G. Lockwood, Executive Director


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