Letter: Finding umbrella trees: Cultivating inclusion and more than survival in a post-affirmative action academy

In this Letter to the Editor, Dr. Beronda Montgomery discusses umbrella trees (Musanga cecropioides) as metaphors for how to sustain progress after disruption, specifically the decision by the US Supreme Court to ban the use of race-conscious affirmative action in college admissions. Umbrella trees spring up in disrupted spaces and provide support when resources are scarce. As she writes, “To continue progress and mitigate attrition, new ‘umbrella trees’ that address racial representation at the systems level will need to be established and cultivated. These will require us to acknowledge and enable the active attention and interventions needed to promote equity in science, higher education, and society, more broadly.”  Clearly it is time to identify more umbrella trees as we navigate difficult times. (Summary by Mary Williams @PlantTeaching) Plant Cell 10.1093/plcell/koad261