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Departmental response to recent events at the annual meeting of the Society for Classical Studies

Submitted by Alain M Gowing on January 14, 2019 - 12:52pm

The faculty of the UW Department of Classics condemns the racist targeting of Djesika Bèl, Stefani Echeverría-Fenn, and Dan-el Padilla Peralta during the 2019 Annual Meeting of the AIA/SCS in San Diego. In addition to extending our unhesitating support to these scholars, we pledge to take steps to examine our complicity in a disciplinary culture that has often enabled white supremacy, both within Classics and outside of it, and to become a more actively anti-racist department. These steps include: an internal fundraiser for a departmental donation to the Sportula; attendance at an anti-racism workshop; the immediate creation of a departmental workshop series for faculty and graduate students on challenging Eurocentrism and white supremacy in the Classics classroom; an increased commitment to inviting speakers of color to the department, both to highlight the excellent work being done by scholars of color in Classics and related fields and to provide professional models for our diverse body of graduate and undergraduate students; and a reaffirmation of our commitment to recruiting, funding, and supporting graduate students of color with the aid of the Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program. Additionally, those of us who are highly placed within the SCS, the AIA, and related professional organizations will advocate with these organizations to institute more effective mechanisms for bias incident reporting and to work with staff at future conference sites to create more inclusive and anti-racist environments for conference attendees and staff. To hold ourselves accountable to these goals, we will institute an ongoing review of our aims and actions, including a meeting to solicit graduate student input during the current academic quarter and a formal review to be held at the conclusion of each academic year under the direction of the departmental Diversity and Equity Committee.


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