AFS Signs ACLS and AAA Statements Responding to the Supreme Court’s Recent Ruling on Affirmative Action

AFS News
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The American Folklore Society values measures intended to create more just environments and institutions. The recent Supreme Court ruling on June 29, 2023 to eliminate race as a criteria for admissions to publicly funded institutions of higher education is in opposition to AFS’s mission, values, and commitments to racial and cultural inclusivity and equity. The ruling states that universities cannot use race as a criteria for admissions, though it does allow for applicants to talk about their race and ways it has affected their experiences.

Race-conscious admissions have long sought to increase the racial diversity of students in higher education programs and upend histories of racial exclusion that have plagued our fields. AFS values equitable access to the research and practice of tradition, as we maintain in our statements of Mission, Vision, and Commitments. The following is a concise summary of the more detailed statements found in the link: 

The American Folklore Society (AFS) is firmly committed to welcoming all who wish to honor and study expressive cultural traditions. Our guiding framework includes our mission and vision, our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and our history.

Several AFS bodies, projects, events, and initiatives have supported and furthered such work, including the Cultural Diversity Committee (CDC), which was created nearly thirty years ago by the Executive Board specifically to increase the diversity of AFS membership and participation. Today, the CDC is leading those efforts into new terrain through a series of measures and initiatives, including the newly reenvisioned Gerald L. Davis Grants, which now include funding for both travel to the annual meeting and for modest project support.

AFS staff and leadership will continue to solicit and create opportunities to support racial and cultural diversity in all aspects of the field, especially colleges and universities as they seek to understand and address the recent ruling.  

Read the ACLS Statement and the AAA Statement that AFS has signed in solidarity with this work.

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