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We strive to be diverse because we know that it will benefit us as a scholarly community, but what does it mean for a scholarly society to be diverse and inclusive? Does it mean to welcome members of historically marginalized groups? To respect linguistic diversity? To proactively engage in anti-oppression best practices? To reflect Canadian demographic diversity? The statement that follows builds on suggestions offered by CSDH/SCHN members and the broader DH community via Twitter, reviewed by the community, and voted on by the membership. English statement follows.
As representatives of digital humanities scholars in Canada, CSDH/SCHN already strives to be open and inclusive in a way that welcomes newcomers to our discipline. This means working to include people from academic communities adjacent to DH, engaging with the perspectives of newcomers, and extending our welcome beyond academia, so that we can learn from others doing digital work. This statement of inclusivity and diversity, then, serves as an understanding of our values as a society.
To help sustain our inclusive practices, the CSDH/SCHN executive invites its members to:
- Recognize that working towards inclusivity may be difficult, but to support CSDH/SCHN’s 4understanding of inclusivity as a central tool for encouraging and sustaining new and existing scholarship, in keeping with the society’s goals to further intellectual growth and exchange.
- Recognize the extent to which many of us have benefitted from, and continue to benefit from, historical and ongoing oppression and injustice. Through consultation and outreach, we will lend appropriate support to remove barriers to equity.
- Use this inclusivity statement as an invitation to cultivate humility and take responsibility for the ways in which we all need to work to combat systemic inequality.
- Assume that members are committed to inclusivity and thus not use this statement as a tool to shame or embarrass members of our community.
- Work towards inclusive practices that respond to the Canadian context. This includes: respecting the linguistic choices of others by supporting multilingual (and especially, French-English bilingual) communication, and ensure that our language use allows broad engagement by others with differing levels of competency; seeking to address the challenges of Canadian multiculturalism, human rights policies, and decolonization; and engaging with Indigenous scholars, community experts, and others to ensure Indigenous participation in the growth of digital humanities.
- Engage with other ADHO member organizations and the larger academic community to refine our understanding of inclusivity best practices.
- Recognize this statement as contingent, uneven, and always complicit in processes emerging from the specificities of our particular global and historical positioning. We expect that our approaches to diversity will continue to evolve over time to meet new needs and conditions.
- Contact the CSDH Ombud, listed on our website, if you feel excluded by our policies or practices, experience discomfort related to diversity issues, or wish to engage in this conversation within CSDH/SCHN.
Drafted May 31 2016
Revised through community consultation from June 1 to 23 July 2016
Adopted via a 87% majority vote August 14 2016