Our Statement on Equity and Inclusion
As historians, it is our job to interpret the past to the best of our understanding, recovering unacknowledged and uncomfortable truths. The GW History Department understands that this vital work includes reckoning with the historic and ongoing injustices produced by systems of oppression as well as our own implicit biases. These injustices have targeted and continue to harm our students, colleagues and fellow humans on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, culture, class, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, mental health, age, geographic origin, educational attainment, as well as legal and employment status. Our efforts to promote equity in the place of injustice will require time, dedication and financial resources. We pledge to make this change, both to redress harm and in order to create the conditions for a democratic environment in which diverse representation ensures the free and open exchange of ideas. The work of advancing equity and inclusion will not be achieved with a single act or set of acts. Rather than provide an exhaustive list of changes that we will be implementing immediately and over the long-term, we are offering this statement as an expression of our accountability. This process will demand our constant and sustained attention. We are committed to meeting this demand.
Our Statement on Legislative Efforts to Restrict Education About Racism and American History
We the faculty and PhD students of the History Department at The George Washington University stand with the over seventy organizations, including the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), that issued the Joint Statement on Legislative Efforts to Restrict Education about Racism and American History (June 16, 2021). We also commit our “firm opposition to a spate of legislative proposals being introduced across the country that target academic lessons, presentations and discussions of racism and related issues in American history in schools, colleges and universities ... In higher education, under principles of academic freedom that have been widely endorsed, professors are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject. Educators, not politicians, should make decisions about teaching and learning." (Quoted text is taken from this proposed draft for a senate resolution authored by the AAUP: https://docs.google.com/