Committee on Discrimination and Academic Justice

General Description:

The Committee on Discrimination and Academic Justice, both as a community of scholars and members of SWS, believes in the continued research regarding the institutional and individual manifestations of discrimination in society, especially in the realm of academia.  Not only does the Committee on Discrimination and Academic Justice organize sessions to inform the SWS Collective on issues regarding Discrimination in the Workplace at SWS Meetings, it also provides direct, individual support to SWS members in need. This committee also identifies structural and institutional issues in academia that are pertinent to gender, race, sexual orientation and other marginalized groups, collects pertinent data, coordinates and communicates with other organizations addressing these issues, and organizes information on best practices toward creating a just academy.

The Committee on Discrimination and Academic Justice assists SWS members when they have experienced discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, age, disability, religion, or other group characteristics, or when their academic freedom or other rights are violated. The Committee offers various types of support to members who are struggling with experiences of discrimination.

Please note:  The Committee on Discrimination and Academic Justice is not an investigative body.  Its purpose is not to investigate or judge whether and how discrimination occurred as perceived by the SWS member.

 

Getting Personal:  the Committee on Discrimination and Academic Justice as an Asset (to SWSers)

This committee exists to aid members by offering informational, institutional and/or financial assistances to members of SWS who believe they have been victims of discrimination based on gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, age, disability, religion or other group characteristics, or when their academic freedom or other rights have been violated at their institutions of employment. The Committee on Discrimination and Academic Justice is convinced that members should be supported through their experiences of discrimination regardless of background, while paying great attention to how gender intersects other advice on how to proceed.  Consequently, the committee will do its best to provide informal, emotional support to the person in trouble.

 

To achieve its goals, the Committee on Discrimination and Academic Justice acts on four principles:

1)       Trust

2)       Confidentiality

3)       Promptness

4)       Conviction

 

Firstly, the committee trusts that the claims of any SWS member who believes she may have been subject to discrimination in the workplace are honest.  Second, the Committee on Discrimination and Academic Justice keeps the identity members receiving assistance confidentially and carefully unless explicit consent to go public is established.  Realizing that a timely response is both important and a signifier of respect, the Committee on Discrimination and Academic Justice is committed to responding to the SWS member’s call promptly.  Lastly, the discrimination committee is informed by and believes in scholarly research devoted to the issues of discrimination in the workplace.

 

Institutionally, the Committee on Discrimination and Academic Justice can write a letter of support to an administrator at the member’s workplace. This letter of support is signed by the current SWS President, President Elect, and the Chairs of the Committee on Discrimination and Academic Justice.  The letter will state SWS’ knowledge of the situation and encouragement towards a fair resolution.   Financial Support can be provided by recommending to allocate Natalie Allon funds to help defray the cost of legal advice or representation of the member in a discriminatory situation.   See current chair Roberta Villalon’s article to learn more about the Natalie Allon Fund.

 

Need Help?

Contact the Chairs for a confidential discussion of your case.  The Chairs will gather all pertinent information.  The information will be anonymously shared among the Committee on Discrimination and Academic Justice members (and if necessary, SWS officers) and assessed on a case-by-case basis to consider what kind of support should be provided.

 

Resources

  1. Status of Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Persons in Sociology
  2. Status of Persons with Disabilities in Sociology
  3. Status of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Sociology
  4. Status of Women in Sociology

 

Contact The Committee 

Committee on Discrimination and Academic Justice Members

Chairs: 

Tressie Cottom (tmcottom@vcu.edu)

Cynthia Deitch (deitch@gwu.edu)

Other Members:

Bernice Pescosolido
Roksana Badnuddoja
Anastasia Prokos
Bernadette Barton
Katrina Bloch
Wendy Christensen
Veronica Montes
Sally Dear-Healey

Please contact us with suggestions or questions!

If you are a SWS member and want to know more about this committee, or read the meeting minutes, please log in to access the Members’ section.