The EA and anti-racism

What we're doing to strengthen anti-racist practices within the EA and in the discipline at large

The English Association commits to being an anti-racist organisation and stands against any type of racism and racist activity. This means that we recognise that, as an organisation, and as individuals who make up that organisation, we are part of a society in which racial inequality is systemic and institutional, and any action we take is determined by this fact.

We have a responsibility to address issues of racism directly, as advocates for a discipline that engages with a linguistic and literary cultural history which has been profoundly shaped, both explicitly and implicitly, by racism. We pledge to make all our decisions with this responsibility in mind.

The study of English language, linguistics, literature, and creative writing provides an opportunity for engaging with the experiences of others in ways that should be open to all, and for recognising, analysing and opposing racial injustice. We will not tolerate those who promote ideologies that seek to exclude or disparage specific groups or types of people: such ideologies have no place in the discipline as we understand it.

Read the statement we issued in June 2020 in response to the media coverage of the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black and racialized minorities in the UK, US, and beyond

Our action plan

We have convened a small Working Group to develop an action plan and to lead the EA's work on anti-racism and other inequalities. The Group will invite feedback from a wider group in regular ‘pulses’, with concentric rings of feedback and consultation that radiate out from the Group to the wider EA community, and beyond (e.g. sister associations such as the History and Geography Associations).

We will update this page as this work continues.

Updated 8 July 2020

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