Dear DEI Members
There are legislative threats to DEI efforts happening across many countries that attack DEI as a field of research and practice. These laws seek to limit the speech and actions of minority groups. The term "woke" has been weaponized and grossly mischaracterized for political reasons, which has resulted in rising hostilities in the culture wars. We in the leadership of the DEI division condemn legislative actions that limit the rights of specific identity groups. We advocate for the relevance and importance of DEI research and recognize the value DEI education and research makes to improve society.
In a few examples, in the US there has been a sustained effort to eliminate funding for university DEI initiatives, to review diversity course syllabi, to restrict academic freedom and weaken the protection of tenure, and to eliminate DEI statements in the hiring process. Gender studies departments and programs are being shut down. Drag shows on public property have recently been outlawed in Tennessee, and Uganda has made homosexuality illegal. Abortion access in the US has also become a hot issue, with restrictive laws enacted. DEI researchers are being harassed on social media. These kinds of incidents are occurring outside the US as well, with too many examples to list.
Our call to action is twofold:
First, we encourage our membership to continue doing robust evidence-based research showing the effects of DEI practices. Our research can improve DEI programs and practices and can contribute to a positive dialogue about the issues. Conducting research is consistent with our mission in the Academy of Management and allows us to play to our strengths. We encourage our members to write papers highlighting the importance of DEI. We also suggest grey literature such as policy statements, research reports, statistics, survey results, white papers, which can be effective because they can be published quickly in response to ongoing social and political developments. Similarly, posting on social media outlets and writing blog posts is a way to share arguments and evidence - including both positive and critical narratives.
Second, we encourage our membership to share initiatives that allow DEI scholars and researchers to participate and showcase the benefits of DEI research. We will be putting up a resource page on our divisional website to share our members' expertise, and we invite for your contributions and submissions that will help mobilize DEI knowledge on the benefits of DEI research and education. To the extent you are comfortable, we also encourage members to advocate for the relevance and importance of DEI to make the world a better place.
DEI Division Leadership