The Anthropology of Childhood and Youth Interest Group, part of the American Anthropological Association, condemns the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Tony McDade, and all of the many Black individuals violently killed. We stand with and point to the Association of Black Anthropologists’ statement against police violence and anti-Black racism. As scholars of childhood and youth, we know that racism does untold violence to child and youth lives. As a predominantly white subdiscipline, in a discipline that has been shaped and intimately intertwined with whiteness and colonialism, we also acknowledge our current and historical complicity in Black oppression.
This statement is delayed because we have taken some time to think about what we can concretely do as an organization. We both call for comprehensive equity in the treatment of Black children and youth and commit ourselves to learn more about anti-Black racism and racial disparities in our discipline. Specifically, we commit to:
An Inclusive syllabus project and pedagogy. Our hope is that through citing and deeply engaging with Black authors and Black communities who are too often silenced, we can help foster coalitional empathy among students and provide space in our classrooms for addressing oppression-based trauma (e.g., trauma from xenophobia, forced displacement, anti-Black racism, etc.) and combatting racial violence in all forms. We will compile suggestions of inclusive syllabi focused on the study of childhood and post these on our website.
A commitment to publishing from NEOS. At NEOS, we stand in unequivocal solidarity with Black colleagues, students, practitioners, and communities. We commit to using NEOS as a platform to center issues of racial (in)justices in the lives of children and youth and to amplify the voices of scholars of color. In our commitment to equity in action, the October 2020 Issue of NEOS will be dedicated to exploring the intersections of childhood and health and we will prioritize submissions that attend to issues of racism and inequities in health, healthcare, and well-being. We also commit to the creation of a new standing column in NEOS dedicated to racial equity and the dismantling of white supremacy, which will be catalyzed by an April 2021 Special Issue on anti-Black racism, racial brutality, and the unapologetic pursuit of justice.
Recruitment and representation. We will actively recruit BIPOC board members, as well as presenters in invited sessions and conferences. We are also planning on a number of keynote talks next year, and we are making a concerted effort to address some of the disparities in our field in these public gatherings.
Reflexive Introspection and Analysis. We will set up a committee to examine and report on equity and racism within the study of childhood itself, with suggestions for what we as an organization can do to address these issues.