June 3, 2020
The Association of University Presses, of which the University of Arizona Press is a member, recently released this statement on equity and anti-racism. This statement was originally proposed and drafted by the organization’s 2017-2018 Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. The Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Committee established in 2019 took the statement through a process of peer review and revision. The AUPresses Board of Directors, of which University of Arizona Press Director Kathryn Conrad currently serves as president, approved the statement in March 2020.
The Association of University Presses and its members aspire to hold justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion as values that guide our policies, practices, and publications. Upholding these values requires introspection, honesty, and reform of our current practices, the interests they serve, and the people and perspectives they exclude.
Through the work that we publish, university presses have helped to document the histories of institutions in the United States and elsewhere. This scholarship shows that most colleges and universities were built through the exploitation of people of color and established as white and male-only institutions, on land from which indigenous peoples were and continue to be displaced. The racist and exploitative practices that shaped this history remain embedded, even within institutions that work to study and critique that history. Currently, within universities and presses, systems that perpetuate bias, inequalities, and white supremacy go unquestioned and unchecked; in this way, they are perpetuated.
Please go here to read the statement in its entirety.