As an organization dedicated to diversity, accessibility, and inclusion, we at the New Florida Journal of Anthropology feel it is our duty to publicly take a stance against the unjust and horrific actions against Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) in America. Silence and inaction are fuels to the fire of violent conduct which has plagued BIPOC and other minority groups. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has created clear, concise guidelines for change under the hashtag #WeAreDoneDying. NFJA is in full support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the actions proposed by the NAACP.
Further, as an anthropology journal, we recognize that our discipline has a history of racist practices and ideologies. The current situation in America has forced us to reflect on what we can do to help reform structures of inequity within anthropology and the academy . We have taken this opportunity to reflect on the makeup of our organization, which is currently a panel of white voices. Recognizing the limitations of our organization and perspectives, we are actively working to expand our editorial board to include more diverse voices and to provide opportunities to traditionally underrepresented groups. Our Position Vacancy Announcement has been released and we are looking forward to the opportunity of broadening our perspective as a board.
In addition, we recognize that as white people we do not know the pain, struggle, and unique perspective of living as a person of color in America. We are reflecting on this situation and using it as an opportunity to actively take a stance to support BIPOC as researchers and community members. Therefore, we are creating a committee of individuals who will serve as an advisory board to the journal to aid us in developing a special issue that will feature the research and perspectives of BIPOC working in anthropology and anthropologically related fields. It is our hope that this board can help us to create best practices in our attempt to feature and promote the research of underrepresented scholars.
Finally, we are working to actively promote and assist scholars of color by expanding our initiatives to develop workshops and resources that will benefit them in their professional development. One of the core goals of the NFJA is to provide professional editorial experience to graduate students to better prepare them for professional success – we are committed to doing better by our colleagues of color to ensure they too benefit from these experiences.
With these actions we hope to make our organization more inclusive and representative of our entire community. We must do better. Be better. And with actions, not promises or platitudes, we can.