Inclusion, Diversity & Social Justice

In response to the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others, we, faculty and staff of the Anthropology Department at Emory University, strongly condemn the continued state-sanctioned violence against Black Americans and the racist and white supremacist rhetoric that endorses it.  We stand in solidarity with the protesters and others who seek an end to these long-standing injustices and against those who seek to divide and incite hatred in our communities.  In our teaching, research, hiring, mentoring, and service to Emory and its broader community, faculty and staff of the Anthropology Department are working to identify and dismantle deeply embedded structures of anti-Black racism. As anthropologists, we understand that current events must be seen in the context of deep structural racism and structural violence persisting throughout our history, including but not limited to slavery, Jim Crow, lynchings, and pervasive deprivation and imposed disparity in the domains of education, health, wealth, job opportunities, political participation, incarceration, policing, and the basic respect due all human beings. We commit to building a highly rigorous and inclusive environment that honors the rights and voices of marginalized communities and nourishes the human diversity that is at the heart of our discipline.

Department Action Items

1. We have expanded our departmental executive committee by one member to increase diversity. I am happy to report that Justin Hosbey has agreed to join the executive committee as a fifth member. Other members are Bayo Holsey, Kristin Phillips, Dietrich Stout and Jim Rilling. Lora McDonald is a non-voting member. 

2. We have appealed to the Emory College administration for permission to hire a new faculty member in the area of social justice, inequality and activism. The University is currently under a hiring freeze, but we have requested an exception for this hire.

3. We will be devoting one or more class sessions in our graduate seminar in biological anthropology this Fall to critiquing the biological concept of race and related topics.

4. We are in the process of scheduling a colloquium entitled, “Decolonizing our Syllabi”. This session will encourage faculty to include work by scholars from under-represented groups in their courses. We will provide reading materials for people to review ahead of time and then have a discussion.

5. We are in the process of scheduling Town Hall meetings with our graduate and undergraduate students to hear their concerns and suggestions related to diversity, inclusion and social justice.


The department supports the statement from the Association of Black Anthropologists section of the American Anthropological Association.

AAPA Open Letter to Our Community in Response to Police Brutality Against African-Americans and a Call to Antiracist Action