The Cultural Diversity Committee (CDC) is a standing (permanent) committee of the AFS. Its purpose is to undertake research and other activities regarding priorities and strategies to diversify the Society’s membership and to keep the Society engaged with diverse communities, and based on those activities, to recommend policies and actions to the Executive Board.
At present, the Committee is focusing on five initiatives:
1. To engage more directly with local communities and local struggles at our annual meeting sites
2. To experiment with meeting practice and structure to more broadly spark conversations about racial diversity, equity and inclusion in our Society and field
3. To turn the social justice lens inward to open the door to frank conversations about race and privilege within our own Society and field
4. To take a stand by working in solidarity with those fighting racism, xenophobia and homophobia in our communities
5. To teach our children well, by equipping folklore graduate students, new professors and public sector workers with the tools they need to explore folklore theory and history at the intersection of critical race theory, queer theory, transnational, feminist theory/praxis, disability and performance theory.
In 2022 the Cultural Diversity Committee proudly announced a community-centered step forward in participation, inclusion, and affirmation in a newly reimagined Gerald L. Davis Grant
Chairs: Junious Brickhouse (2025) and Naomi Sturm-Wijesinghe (2025)
Members: Todd Lawrence (2022), Solimar Otero (2023), Camila Bryce-Laporte (2023), Lamont Jack Pearley (2023), Vanessa Navarro (2024), Guha Shankar (2024)