The Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Board invites volunteers for a new committee to promote diversity and inclusion within our organization. This committee will be devoted to taking an active stance in addressing the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in nineteenth-century scholarship. In the wake of the horrific murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, among many others over the past several years, and in order to strengthen the organization’s commitment to stand in solidarity with BIPOC and the Black Lives Matter movement, this committee will make active changes to promote the ideals of equity and inclusion within the leadership, membership, and scholarship of the NCSA. The immediate goals of the committee will include, but are not limited to, the following:
- To collaborate with peer organizations in order to learn how to better support and promote diverse scholarly voices;
- To create several platforms to encourage a deeper study of the ways that the nineteenth century contributed to contemporary views on race, racial structures and systems, and the role of race and settler colonialism within nineteenth-century empire-building that continues to impact race, equity, and inclusion today;
- To create a new award at the annual conference to help support BIPOC scholars, as well as the study of BIPOC issues in nineteenth-century studies scholarship;
- To devise a plan and a strategy to actively recruit more BIPOC membership within the NCSA, and additionally, to encourage more BIPOC to assume more leadership roles on the Board.
This agenda is critical to the further development of our organization. In order to foster a more inclusive and equitable group, it is essential that we make a concerted effort to deliberately dismantle systemic racism that privileges white voices and white narratives that is entrenched within academe. This committee will be devoted to creative and thoughtful ways to be proactive in our quest to decolonize nineteenth-century scholarship. We will be organizing a roundtable discussion for the next Virtual NCSA conference, March 11-13, 2021. If you are interested in working towards these goals, by October 15, 2020, please contact Wendy Castenell (email@example.com) or Maura Coughlin (firstname.lastname@example.org).