It is a pleasure to submit the very first report of the CAMWS Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.
Thanks to creative and willing participation in e- and other meetings, the nine members of the Committee (representing K-12 schools, 4-year liberal arts colleges, and research I institutions) both created and made progress on an agenda that expanded steadily as the year moved along. As a result,
- The Committee approved a charter for itself. The proposal was approved by the CAMWS Executive Committee. This in turn paved the way for an amendment to the CAMWS By-Laws, now to be considered at the 2021 conference in Cleveland. If approved, the Committee will become standing.
- The Committee proposed an inaugural panel for the 2020 convention. The goal was presentations that would span the array of what “diversity and inclusion” might include: whom do we teach? What texts or issues do we use? Are particular passages and/or topics opportunities or minefields as we expand outreach? How might both pedagogy and curriculum help expand our reach? Who are our resistors? What may be appropriate responses? A nice example of linking our focus with that of analogous committees and organizations, we were delighted when the Women’s Classical Caucus agreed to sponsor our panel as the 2020 opening night plenary. We’re as pleased that CAMWS officers have already agreed to reschedule the panel as the opening plenary event of the 2021 conference in Cleveland.
- In an effort to allow the membership to help create the agendas for future activities and focusses, the Committee proposed a “Roundtable” for the 2020 conference.
- In an effort to make certain future host institutions and hotels reflect our concerns with diversity and inclusion, the Committee approved criteria, consistent with expectations outlined at https://camws.org/codeofconduct, which future CAMWS officers should use as they proceed with negotiations for conference venues.
- At the request of the Executive Committee, the Committee proposed criteria and procedures that will allow a portion of the Rudolph Masciantonio estate to provide scholarships in support of diversity and inclusion. The central criterion is personal life experiences and/or societal and structural inequities that have affected talented teachers, professors and scholars. We’re delighted that the Executive Committee has approved the criteria[MOU1] , and that the first recipients will be [MOU2] introduced next Spring at the opening night’s plenary session.
- The Committee believes that its first year augurs well for the future. As we move forward, it urges both the officers and the whole membership to contribute not only to projects and activities of the committee, but also – and more important – to the moral and intellectual benefits (to say nothing of growth and/or survival) that will accrue to all of us by aggressive advocacy of these matters. We have a collective responsibility in keeping the good momentum of the first year’s committee on a good track.
Submitted by Ted Tarkow, Chair