As an organization that prioritizes inclusivity and social justice, Digital Frontiers is outraged and saddened by the tragic killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, David McAtee, and so many others. We are appalled that systemic racism has enabled the COVID-19 epidemic to disproportionately impact Black communities and that the failure of governmental responses at every level has exacerbated these injustices. We see our Black friends and colleagues, and we stand with them in this crisis.
As the Board of Directors of Digital Frontiers, we believe that it is our responsibility as an organization and as a community to reject racism, and to disempower white supremacy. Over the years, our inclusive community has supported and sustained us. So now we too, as leaders of this community, must stand firmly in support of our Black friends and colleagues.
Let us be perfectly clear:
- We stand in opposition to the killing of Black people by militarized police;
- We stand with Black Lives Matter and commit to share the fight for a future free from white supremacy in all its forms.
Our organizational mission is to bring together the makers and users of digital resources for the humanities; what does that mean in this time of crisis?
Digital Frontiers amplifies the voices of the most vulnerable and marginalized in our community. We support and highlight the work of early career faculty and professionals, undergraduate and graduate students, and members of our community who are not academics. Not infrequently, these are people of color, queer and trans folx, people with disabilities, and representatives of other margininalized communities. Digital Frontiers offers a safe place for these members of our community to find allies and collaborators, and strives to model inclusive practice in our governance, our editorial and peer review processes, and at our events. As such, we listen; we evolve and grow as individuals and as a community; when we err, we accept and learn from correction; and we act on behalf of the most vulnerable in our community.
When we drafted our Statement of Inclusion & Accessibility in 2015, we knew that a statement was not enough. We understood that statements must be backed up with action in order to not be hollow. In the intervening years, we have reworked the Statement to reflect the values of our community, and we endeavor through all our initiatives and interactions to advance the values that Statement enshrines. From our Statement of Inclusion:
Digital Frontiers is committed to providing a harassment-free environment for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, physical appearance, race, ethnicity, national origin, language proficiency, military service, professional status, religion, marital status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, or other group status.
We see the values of radical inclusion encoded in our Statement of Inclusion & Accessibility as central to our core mission as a non-profit organization. These are the values on which this community was founded, and these are the values that will see us into the future.
In these uncertain times, we have asked our community to invest in the future of Digital Frontiers; we continue to need your support in order to survive. As such, we feel we owe our community, not merely a statement, but a series of clear actions that we will take to advance our mission of radical inclusion and social justice.
- The Board of Directors of Digital Frontiers will:
- Strive to be actively anti-racist in our work with the digital humanities community and other professional communities in which we work and interact.
- Listen to the concerns and recommendations of POC within and beyond our community and take action to address them in a meaningful way.
- Use our broad platform online to promote the work of POC scholars, artists, technologists, librarians and others who operate in digital space.
- Furthermore, the Editorial Board of Unbound: A Journal of Digital Scholarship endorses the statement from the FemEdTech collective on the disproportionate impact of our current state of crisis on women researchers and scholars. We expect that the pandemic and social unrest are also disproportionately affecting the work of POC as well. The Editorial Board has taken specific actions based on the recommendations in that statement, including prioritizing and centering the work of marginalized scholars, and has publicized these actions on the journal site.
We stand in solidarity with our Black friends and colleagues. We commit ourselves and our organization to advancing equity and seeking justice in all areas that we touch.