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Racial Justice

The AAUP is committed to addressing systemic racism and working toward racial justice in colleges and universities, in keeping with our mission to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good. Black lives matter, and for us this affirmation means that Black people, including faculty and students, have the right to thrive and not just survive. The inequities, systemic racism, and implicit bias evident in US higher education institutions reflect our country’s failure to redress the harms caused by slavery and by centuries of violence and discrimination against Black and indigenous people and other people of color. In spite of efforts to diversify their student bodies and faculties, colleges and universities too often help to perpetuate the privileges of white and wealthy people. Although higher education institutions have been part of the problem, they also have the resources to be part of the solution. The solidarity and participation in shared governance of engaged faculty members have the potential to make a meaningful difference.

Staff and leadership of the AAUP are taking a critical look at the work the Association has done in the past to address systemic racism, and we are engaging in challenging conversations about how we can do more—and do it more thoughtfully and more meaningfully. While such conversations do not result in any easy answers, we agree that the work of anti-racism is everyone’s job and that it should inform all of the AAUP’s activities.

We will use this page to highlight some of our relevant statements, policy and legal work, and publications related to racism, anti-discrimination, and affirmative action and to share actions and resources of AAUP chapters and other organizations around the country. Please write to smink@aaup.org to suggest resources for this page or to share news of your chapter’s actions.

AAUP Policy Statements, Reports, and Analysis

Selected Investigative Reports

This is a selection from a large number of reports that, in one way or another, have issues of race and racism as a central element. For a detailed discussion of AAUP investigations during desegregation in the South, see Joy Ann Williamson-Lott's Jim Crow Campus.

Other AAUP Resources

AAUP Legal Work

Feature Articles from Academe, Magazine of the AAUP

Opinions expressed in Academe’s contributed feature articles and reviews are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the policies of the AAUP.

Articles from the Journal of Academic Freedom

Opinions expressed in the journal are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the policies of the AAUP.

Academe Blog

Opinions expressed in Academe Blog’s contributed blog posts are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the policies of the AAUP.

AAUP Chapter Actions and Resources

Additional Resources

Reading List: Racial Justice and Higher Education

* For a more general list, see Committee A member Ibram X. Kendi’s “The Anti-Racist Reading List" and How to be an Anti-Racist (One World, 2019).