AAA’s Initiatives on Race and Climate
Since 1969, the AAA has created a variety of committees, commissions and task forces to study the discipline’s inclusiveness, academic climate, and understandings of racial issues among its membership. These bodies have been largely critical of the limited progress within anthropology. Below is a brief overview of AAA’s efforts to address race, racism, and inclusiveness.
- The AAA committed itself to racially diversifying the profession and professional training. It established a Committee on Minorities and Anthropology (CMA), made up of well-established anthropologists of color. This committee surveyed the perceptions of anthropology by racial minority anthropologists.
- A report entitled The Minority Experience in Anthropology, was the first of a series critical analyses of racial practices within the discipline.
- Under the leadership of Audrey Smedley, the AAA issued its Statement on Race.
- The AAA established the Committee on Minority Issues in Anthropology to be elected by the membership at large. Its mandate has been to diversify recruitment and retention of anthropologists who are racialized minorities, to foster a climate of respect and cultural diversity, to help define the discipline’s views on cultural diversity, and to administer the AAA’s minority dissertation fellowship.
- The AAA established the Commission on Race and Racism whose task was to examine diversity and racial climate in the discipline as well as efforts within the profession to address enduring racial inequalities.
- The Commission on Race and Racism issued its final report. Two publications resulted from the commission, an article in the American Anthropologist “Anthropology as White Public Space?” and an online edited book, “Racism in the New Millennium.”
- AAA President Leith Mullings established the Task Force on Race and Racism in Anthropology to implement the recommendations of the Commission.
- The Task Force on Race and Racism releases The Task Force on Race and Racism Survey that seeks to provide a clearer qualitative and quantitative picture of the discipline in regard to race and racism.