Approved by the AAR Board of Directors August 13, 2021
This statement from the AAR Board of Directors begins with the response given on Friday, July 16, 2021 by the AAR Board of Directors to Melissa Wilcox, Hsiao-Lan Hu, and Bee Scherer, three AAR members who resigned from their status committee positions in an open letter (received via email by the Board on Thursday, July 15, 2021).
Please know that we, as the AAR Board of Directors, are aware of, and have discussed, the details that have been shared with us about recent developments in the Status of LGBTIQ Persons in the Profession Committee. We remain committed to fostering a professional environment that is supportive and values the contributions of trans, nonbinary, genderqueer, and gender nonconforming persons, Black and other minoritized persons, and all people who have been historically excluded. We remain committed to the continual evaluation and improvement of decision-making processes. We stand ready to support everyone involved in this situation in these difficult times as we build upon just practices of communication and fact-finding in our work together. We remain committed to our AAR and our values of academic excellence and professional responsibility; free inquiry and critical examination; diversity and inclusion; transparency and respect. We all are the AAR.
As a Board, we appreciate all the AAR members who work so diligently to build bridges. We strive to provide spaces for that difficult work of building bridges and structures that help minimize the impact on those undertaking the work. We acknowledge the weariness that accompanies efforts to meet our declared values. And, we recognize the challenges as well as the critical importance of intersectional work. Nevertheless, as the AAR Board and staff, we will continue to support this vital work.
The AAR President who, according to our organizational bylaws, has the ultimate responsibility for making committee appointments, is dedicated to appointing trans* members and/or members who are committed trans* allies with roots in racial justice. Moreover, the Board’s executive committee, which, according to our organizational bylaws, has the responsibility of evaluating our overall committee work, is committed to undergirding the structures and processes we already have in place to support intersectional work. And, AAR staff leadership has already designated Annual Meeting space for a trans* caucus for each of the next five years and has begun working on strengthening processes and providing support for standing committee members, those working hard and giving of themselves on behalf of our AAR mission.
We are grateful to be in this work with all AAR members as we strive together to meet our values of academic excellence and professional responsibility; free inquiry and critical examination; diversity and inclusion; transparency and respect.