12. June 2020

CLaME Statement on Black Lives Matter and Racism

The Max-Planck-Society-NYU Center for Language, Music, and Emotion (CLaME) is an international research center with participating scientists from many countries. We unequivocally support the Black community in the United States and beyond. We sharply condemn all acts of violence committed by the police. 

We acknowledge and condemn the structural inequality in the US, reflected in the economic, educational, and health disadvantages faced by people of color. We also acknowledge that racism is a pervasive problem all over the world. We stand in solidarity with all victims of racial discrimination, and we commit to amplifying the voices across races and countries that call for the elimination of systemic racism. 

We have the privilege to work in excellent research institutions, and we can and must do better to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in our scientific environment. It is our responsibility as citizens and scientists to assess how we can make our global research community more just and equitable.  It is our responsibility to confront racism wherever we see it. It is our responsibility to challenge discrimination through our research, teaching, and civic work. We must begin a dialogue about how we can effectively dismantle the structural inequalities in our global scientific culture. There are no easy answers. 

As a Center, this is what we are doing:

We will launch the CLaME Summer Internship Program (CLaME SIP) for undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds, a paid 8-week summer internship under the mentorship of our CLaME scientists. 

We organize several workshops per year both in the USA and Germany. In order to promote more diverse voices, we commit to inviting junior scholars from underrepresented backgrounds to speak at these workshops and engage with the CLaME community. 

We are committed to sustaining these initiatives in the next academic year and beyond. As a team, we have compiled below a list of organizations in different countries that provide support, as a means of immediate action. This is just the beginning of the work to be done, and we must sustain and extend these efforts. 


Color of Change

NAACP Legal Defense Fund


Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes

Black Lives Matter Berlin


The Netherland is Getting Better


Federación SOS Racismo

Observatorio Español del Racismo y la Xenofobia


SOS Racisme