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AAUP Affirms Commitment to Racial Justice

By Kelly Hand

In response to worldwide protests this summer against racism and police brutality after the murder of George Floyd, the AAUP affirmed that Black lives matter and that the Association is committed to addressing systemic racism in higher education and working toward racial justice. After issuing an initial statement in support of the protests, the AAUP followed with a broader statement about racial justice in higher education. These statements appear on a new web page at https://www.aaup.org/issues/racial-justice that collects resources related to racism, antidiscrimination, and affirmative action. We will continue to add new materials and helpful links.

At its August meeting, the AAUP’s Council resolved to work to end systemic racism in higher education; to review and assess the AAUP’s commitment to racial justice (including acknowledging times we have fallen short); and to work with our chapters and members to advance racial justice in the AAUP. The national AAUP has also convened a working group to draft a report on the role of police on campus, including whether it is appropriate for institutions of higher education to have their own police forces; how systemic racism affects campus policing; changes needed to ensure that campuses are safe and welcoming for diverse peoples, especially Black, indigenous, and other peoples of color; and how AAUP chapters and members can best work in solidarity with student groups, community social justice organizations, and unions on this issue.

Academe Blog published a call for submissions about racism and antiracist work, the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences for institutions and individuals, and other higher education topics. This call for submissions, which attracted thoughtful and compelling blog posts, is part of an effort to feature a more diverse range of voices in AAUP publications. Readers can find a variety of blog posts that address racism and antiracism at https://academeblog.org/category/racism-anti-racism.

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