Reaffirming Our Commitment to Support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives
The following is a statement endorsed by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) and 19 other scientific societies, including SPSSI. It was released on February 17, 2023. The original statement can be found at: https://spsp.org/news/spsp-news/supporting-diversity-equity-inclusion-initiatives.
As scientific societies, our mission is to advance the teaching and application of science for the benefit of all people. As part of this commitment, we support researchers who are examining the effects of systemic racism and discrimination in our society. We are also dedicated to monitoring and dismantling inequitable systems that continue to suppress many voices in our field.
We are disturbed by recent activities in Florida and elsewhere that conflict with both of these principles. In January, the presidents of 28 state and community colleges in Florida said that they would identify and eliminate any academic requirement or program that "compels belief in critical race theory or related concepts such as intersectionality." This statement comes after the office of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis requested that public colleges and universities submit comprehensive lists of their spending related to diversity initiatives and critical race theory. These actions culminated with Gov. DeSantis calling for the dismantling of diversity programs at the state's colleges and universities while DeSantis-appointed trustees removed the president of New College of Florida in Sarasota.
We strongly oppose interventions to censor the teaching of science or limit academic freedom. Sharing research findings and discussing these issues is crucial for preparing the next generation of scientists, and preventing faculty from doing so jeopardizes the future of our field. We commend faculty members like Elizabeth R. Brown and Parvez Ahmed who have spoken out about the harmful impact of these restrictions on the quality of higher education.
We also vehemently oppose any actions designed to curb diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at colleges and universities. These efforts are essential for addressing long-standing disparities in our society, which have left many communities woefully underrepresented.
We urge policymakers and public officials everywhere to support instructors and students who are passionate about understanding the effects of race and racism in our society, as well as mitigating its effects on our own field. It is only through upholding and expanding these initiatives that we can work toward fostering a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment at all places of learning, and in society more generally.
Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP)
American Anthropological Association
American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research
American Association of Physics Teachers
American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
American Institute of Biological Sciences
American Institute of Hydrology
APA Div. 45 Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race
Botanical Society of America
Clinical Psychology Services, LLC
Coalition for an Ethical Psychology
Consortium of Social Science Associations
International Medical Geology Association
Linguistic Society of America
National Association of Geoscience Teachers
National Cave and Karst Research Institute
Society for Health Psychology (APA Division 38)
Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI)
The Gerontological Society of America
The Oceanography Society