NASA has long been committed to fostering a culture that is free
of discrimination and built on trust, respect, teamwork,
communication, empowerment, and commitment. The recent tragedies
wrought by terrorist attacks on our Nation have made this more
important than ever before. It is essential for us–as members
of the NASA family–to rededicate ourselves to a spirit of unity
with respect for every individual, and support for each other.
This is what has made this Agency so strong and effective through
the years. As our Nation moves forward in the days and weeks
ahead, nothing must be allowed to diminish the unity of our NASA
family or the Nation as a whole.

Unfortunately, in the aftermath of these tragedies the Nation has
witnessed numerous acts of discrimination against Arab and Muslim
Americans. While we as individuals are angry and pained by
recent events, we must not direct our anger and pain toward
individuals just because they are, or we believe them to be,
Muslim, or of Arab descent. None of us wants to be stereotyped or
targeted because of who we are, what we believe, or a simple fact
of birth.

As President Bush stated in his address to Congress and the
Nation in the aftermath of the attacks, America respects the
faith of Muslim Americans and Muslims throughout the world. We
respect all religious faiths whose teachings are good and
peaceful. These recent acts of discrimination against Arab and
Muslim Americans are examples of bigotry and prejudice directed
at particular individuals and their places of worship, based
solely on those individuals’ ethnic backgrounds and religious
beliefs. These acts demonstrate, yet again, the insidious nature
of discrimination and harassment; in this case, discrimination
based on national origin and religion.

Therefore, I want to take this opportunity to emphasize that
discrimination must not be allowed to touch our NASA family in
any way. I must reiterate that NASA has zero tolerance for
bigotry, harassment, stereotyping, and discrimination based on
nonmerit factors.

I am calling on all NASA managers to rededicate themselves to
providing a civil work environment which gives every member of
our NASA family a feeling of security and mutual respect.
Ensuring equal opportunity for each of us to work and excel while
on NASA premises continues to be of paramount concern to me.
Opportunity must be provided regardless of race, color, age, sex,
national origin, religion, or disability, notwithstanding the
current tragedy. We must all step up to the challenges of our
diverse workforce and our constantly changing world to recognize
the value of all of our employees.

It is with these concerns in mind that I reaffirm NASA’s
commitment to ensuring equal opportunity and to fostering a
culture of respect. That respect must be built on trust and
cooperation. That respect includes valuing the individuality of
all members of the NASA family and their rich cultural, ethnic,
and religious diversity. I ask each of you to set the tone and
lead by example in your workplace. I ask you to eliminate all
forms of prejudice, make sure that civility is practiced, and not
allow the course of events to alter in any way our commitment to
unity and to each other–no matter what difficulties and
challenges may lie ahead. I will do my part, and once again, I
challenge you to do yours.

Daniel S. Goldin

NASA Administrator