Call for Nominations for the New Committee on Racial Exclusion and Equity

We are seeking nominations for the Committee on Racial Exclusion and Equity, a new formal committee of the ASA Environmental Sociology Section, which was approved by section membership this spring and will begin its work this fall. The Committee’s mission is to assess and help address the historical and contemporary state of racial exclusion and equity in the Section with curiosity and a critical lens. The committee may undertake various projects and/or initiatives to achieve this mission with the objective of creating an empathetic yet critical space for conversation, reflection, and new scholarship on racial exclusion and equity as it relates to environmental sociology. The chair and other members of this new committee will be appointed by a consensus decision of the section chair and the ad hoc committee on racial equity from a list of candidates derived by soliciting nominations from section members and others. The committee will strive to be a racially diverse committee, as well as represent diversity with respect to career stage, gender, and other lines of inequality within the section. The committee chair must be a member of ASA during their time as chair, per ASA rules. We are now soliciting nominations for this committee’s chair and other members; self-nominations are welcome and encouraged. If you are interested in serving as chair or other member of this committee, want to nominate people for it, or have questions about these positions, please contact section chair Jill Harrison at jill.harrison@colorado.edu.

Background: The ASA Environmental Sociology Section ad hoc Committee on Racial Equity (CRE) was founded in 2016, in response to numerous section members’ concerns about insufficient attention to racial exclusion and racial inequity within the section. Initial members included Elisabeth Wilder and Lauren Richter, both graduate student members at the time, and Michael Mascarenhas. Jennifer Carrera joined the CRE soon after, followed by Raoul Liévanos the following year. The CRE investigated racial and ethnic diversity within the section, assessing the professional climate for scholars of color, recommending changes in section policies and practices, organizing a mini-conference on race and the environment, editing a special issue of Environmental Sociology to showcase scholarship from that conference, and engaging environmental sociologists in laying the foundation for a more inclusive scholarly community. In 2018, section council expressed support for integrating the CRE’s recommendations into all aspects of section practice; in fall 2019, council developed the new bylaw that would enact this, and in 2020 section membership approved this bylaw. Additionally, in 2018 and 2019 council meetings, section council expressed support for formalizing the CRE from ad hoc to permanent status within the Section; in fall 2019, council developed the new bylaw that would enact this, and in 2020 section membership approved the bylaw that formalized the ad hoc CRE into a new Committee on Racial Exclusion and Equity.

Mascarenhas, Michael, Jennifer Carrera, Lauren Richter, and Elisabeth Wilder. 2017. “Diversity in Sociology and Environmental Sociology: What we Know About our Discipline.” ASA ETS Section News, 1-5.

Mascarenhas, M., Raoul S. Liévanos, Jennifer Carrera, Lauren Richter, and Elisabeth Wilder. 2018. “Reflections on ‘Bridging the Gap: Race and the Environment’ Mini-Conference” ASA ETS Section News, 3-5.

Wilder, Elisabeth, Lauren Richter, Michael Mascarenhas, Raoul S. Liévanos, and Jennifer Carrera. 2019. “Confronting White Space and White Ignorance: A Summary of the Committee on Racial Equity’s Mission and Work (2016-2019).” American Sociological Association Section on Environmental Sociology Newsletter Fall 2019:3-6.

These reports are compiled here: http://envirosoc.org/wordpress/committee-on-racial-equity/