There are many ways you can contribute to promoting diversity in the field, beyond diversifying your syllabi. Here are some examples.
Ways to Bring More Voices Into Philosophy
- BE HEARD! Maybe you are a member of an underrepresented group; being here and being visible is already a contribution to us all.
- JOIN! Maybe you are feeling isolated. Consider working with your peers. Joining groups, organizing, and sharing experiences can bring added strength. In some cases, extant groups may not provide an adequate space to discuss experiences related to your identity. Reach out to others who may feel the same way, and consider forming a new group. Sometimes it is helpful to have groups that are more general in scope, alongside ones that are more focussed.
- MENTOR! Maybe some of your students are members of underrepresented groups. Be attentive to their experiences and offer mentoring that can aid in professionalization, mentoring, and navigating through a field that can seem inaccessible or hostile to those who are seen as outsiders.
- STEER! Maybe you teach undergrads, including talented students who would never imagine an academic career without being told that it is a real possibility worth considering.
Ways to Use Your Skills, Time, and Resources to Help Others
Diversity initiatives are not limited to making philosophy more inclusive. As philosophers, there are ways we can contribute to the community more broadly.
- DONATE! Maybe have material resources that you are willing to donate, including resources that can come from talent, hard work, luck, promotion over time, and having had a good starting place, with fewer barriers than many others. Consider making contributions to help redistribute resources to people in need.
- VOLUNTEER! As academics, often our time is even more valuable than the material resources we can share. Consider volunteering. There are ways anyone can make a difference by pitching in, and there are also things we can do as philosophers, such as community education efforts. We link to some of these below.
Links to Places Where You Can Contribute Resources, Time, and Expertise
- Groups within the CUNY Philosophy Program. If you would like to contribute locally, contact groups listed on our community resources page, or contact the Philosophy EO or the EDIC committee. Many groups lack funds to bring in speakers, for example, and help is always welcome.
- The Parole Project. Volunteer to provide support for incarcerated individuals as they prepare for parole hearings. This support has proven enormously valuable. https://www.paroleprepny.org
The AFIYA Center
“The Afiya Center (TAC) was established in response to the increasing disparities between HIV incidences worldwide and the extraordinary prevalence of HIV among Black womxn and girls in Texas. TAC is unique in that it is the only Reproductive Justice (RJ) organization in North Texas founded and directed by Black womxn.
At TAC we are transforming the lives, health, and overall well being of Black womxn and girls by providing refuge, education, and resources; we act to ignite the communal voices of Black womxn resulting in our full achievement of reproductive freedom.”
The Audre Lorde Project
“The Audre Lorde Project is a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non Conforming People of Color center for community organizing, focusing on the New York City area. Through mobilization, education and capacity-building, we work for community wellness and progressive social and economic justice. Committed to struggling across differences, we seek to responsibly reflect, represent and serve our various communities.”
The Black Alliance for Peace
“A people(s)-centered human right project against war, repression, and imperialism”
The Black Institute
“The Black Institute shapes intellectual discourse and impacts public policy uniquely from a Black and people of color perspective in the United States and throughout the Diaspora. The Black Institute translates the “think” in think-tank into “action” through a rigorous three-level strategy consisting of academic and community research, inclusive and genuine civic development, and grassroots campaigns and political engagements. The Black Institute changes the discourse of public debate, trains and educates new leadership, develops initiatives to build wealth and power, and delivers justice to Black people and all people of color.”
Children of Promise, NYC
“Children of Promise, NYC reimagines a just society that values the purpose of every child impacted by mass incarceration and removes barriers to create opportunities for children to thrive and achieve their human potential.”
Public Bank, NYC
“We believe a public bank, with a clear mission to serve critical neighborhood needs, will help achieve economic security and shared prosperity for all New Yorkers.”
“START is dedicated to transforming the perception of addiction and behavioral health disorders by bringing dignity and respect to the lives, families and communities we serve.”
Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SLRP)
“The Sylvia Rivera Law Project works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence.”